Overcoming a 0-5 deficit five innings into the contest, Taiwan rallied for six unanswered runs, including a dramatic walk-off single by Su Chih-chieh, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, to top Canada in a 6-5 final in the third game of the 25th IBAF under-18 Baseball World Championship at the Mokdong Baseball Stadium in Seoul, South Korea, last night.
The win kept the Islanders in the title hunt in Group B play as they are tied with Canada, Japan and Panama with an identical 2-1 mark and three games remaining on their schedule in the preliminaries to determine whos will advance to the final round.
Canada came out firing against Taiwan with two quick runs in the opening frame that had many wondering if the defending champs could hold up against the attack.
After Canada doubled its lead in the third with two more runs on RBI swings from Nathan Desouza and Brett Siddal, and made it 5-0 in the top of fifth with a solo blast by Mitchell Triolo, the Taiwanese finally answered against the stellar pitching of Canadian starter Cal Quantrill in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs on a clutch two-out single by Sen Yu-pin.
Quantrill would cruise through a scoreless sixth and seventh before leaving with one out and a runner on first in the eighth for his bullpen, which added fuel to the fire by loading up the bags with consecutive walks by reliever Travis Seabrooke, to set the table for what ended up being a three-run rally by Taiwan to tie the game at 5-all.
Taiwan would deny the Canadians’ bid to take the lead with a spectacular tag-out at the plate to the end the top of the ninth, before Lee worked a one-out walk off reliever Dayton Dawe in the bottom of the inning and score two batters later on Su’s game-winning hit.
Tseng Jen-ho was credited with the thrilling win for pitching a scoreless ninth, while the loss was charged against his counterpart Dawe.
Panama 0, Japan 8
Red-hot Japan picked up where they left off in a 2-0 shutout win over Taiwan on Saturday with a dominating 8-0 blanking of Panama at the Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul to up their record to 2-1 through three days of play.
Game-winner Ryuhei Johma was nearly flawless in a three-hit gem over seven innings, before fellow hurler Takahito Otsuka retired the side in order over the final two frames to keep the shutout intact.