What should have been a relatively easy win turned into a dog fight for the Islanders as they failed to solve the stellar pitching of China reliever Li Xin, who came on in the fourth and held the previously unbeaten Taiwanese to two hits the rest of the way en route to claim just China’s third victory over Taiwan in international baseball competitions.
“Our batters were a bit surprised at how effective Li was; the scouting report did not say that Li had as good command in all his pitches as he did in the game,” Taiwan manager Lu Ming-tzu said after the game.
His troops were held to only three early runs off China starter Yang Hai-fan after averaging over 20 runs per game in their four previous contests.
Taiwan will take a well deserved day off today before tomorrow’s showdown against South Korea, in which a win can still give them the top-seed berth in the medal rounds.
The opening pitch is scheduled for 1pm.