Powered by a 12-run second inning, Taiwan easily cruised past Hong Kong in a 25-0 shutout in five innings to win their second game in the preliminaries of the East Asian Games baseball at the Tianjin Sports Center yesterday morning.
It was the second straight game in which Taiwan have thrashed their opponents following the 15-0 blanking of Guam in six frames the day before to give them a total of 41 runs in two games while posting a 2-0 record.
Even though the level of their opponents might have been a tad below the norm, the Taiwanese hitters have definitely come out to play with 19 hits on the day to get the necessary workout they may need for tougher opponents such as Japan and South Korea later in the competition.
Leading the way for the victors at the plate was Hsu Chi-hung, who went deep against the Hong Kong pitching for Taiwan’s first home run of the tournament, a two-run shot in the 12-run second inning.
Also starring was Chen Wei-chih, who was a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.
Taking the mound for Taiwan was Huang Sheng-hsiung, who led off the game with an inauspicious walk to allow the first hitter he faced to reach safely. That turned out to be the lone baserunner that Hong Kong would get the entire game as Huang calmly fanned eight of the 10 batters he faced over three hitless innings, before handing the game over to Kuo Jung-lin and Wang Tsong-hao, who ably kept the no-hitter intact with a perfect fourth and fifth respectively.
“It was a bit of a let-down for us not to get [the no-hitter], but I am still very pleased with what we’ve accomplished today,” Taiwan skipper Lu Ming-tsu said after the game.
It has been some time since the national team has put up as many runs over a two-game span as his troops have done this week.
Next up for Taiwan are formidable neighbors Japan, who also won their first two games by large margins.
The opening pitch is scheduled for 1pm, with Wang Yao-lin expected to take the mound for Taiwan.