Taiwan improved to 2-1 in the preliminaries of this year’s 18U Baseball World Cup with a 4-2 win over Canada at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung last night.
The night game of the day-night doubleheader that was put in place to make up for the two rained-out days late last week saw the Taiwanese drawing first blood with a run in the top of the first, when Wu drew a walk off Canadian starter Travis Seabrooke, took third on another single and a walk before scoring on a fielder’s choice by Wang Cheng-tang.
The Islanders would increase their lead to 3-0 with a run in the fourth and fifth, before starter Lin Cheng-hsien allowed a pair of unearned runs on two singles and a two-run double to Canada’s Tyler O’Neill that made it 3-2.
Neither team was able to score through the eighth, with Lin and his counterparts standing their ground until Taiwan plated an insurance run in the top of the ninth to seal the victory.
Lin was credited with the win for his six solid innings of play, allowing two runs on seven hits, while the loss was charged to Seabrooke.
In the day game of the day-night doubleheader, the hosts took advantage of a nine-run first to demolish the Czech Republic in a 16-0 final in five innings, thanks to a brilliant effort by a lineup that ripped eight hits off the Czech pitching in the opening frame and never looked back.
Czech starter Lukas Ercoli was relieved only two outs in the opening frame after serving up eight of the nine runs that the Islanders claimed on six hits. The visitors also committed two errors in the process that did them no favors.
Other than a scoreless second, Taiwan managed to cross the plate at least once in all of the innings played, led by Lin Li and Yang Chia-wei, whose six combined RBIs on a 5-for-7 effort highlighted the national team’s slugfest.
Picking up the win on the mound for Taiwan was Tu Chia-ming, who needed only 42 pitches to one-hit the Czechs over shutout innings, while the loss went to Ercoli, who was overpowered by the Taiwanese hitters in a losing cause.
VENEZUELA 7, CANADA 5
Venezeula needed another late-game rally to top Canada in the second contest of the tournament, scoring three in the top of the ninth and holding off the Canadians to escape with a thrilling 7-5 win at the Taichung Municipal Baseball Stadium early yesterday afternoon.
After Canada struck first with three runs in the bottom of the third, the South Americans would answer with three runs of their own in the top of the fifth to knot things up at 3-all, only to find themselves trailing by two in the bottom of the same inning when Canada’s Josh Naylor and Lachlan Fontaine connected on run-scoring hits to give their team a 5-3 lead.
Trailing 5-4 heading into the top of the ninth, Venezuela mustered one final offensive with three straight singles off Canadian reliever Brodie Harkness which scored two runs and added on an insurance run on a balk call against reliever Daniel Propio to claim a 7-5 lead that stood for good.
‧ Japan 11, Mexico 0 (7th)
‧ Colombia 0, South Korea 4
‧ Italy 0, Cuba 15 (6th)
‧ US 0, Australia 1
‧ Venezuela 0, Japan 7
‧ Czech Republic 2, Mexico 12