Tue, Nov 11, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan crush New Zealand 7-0

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

Taiwan triumphantly leave the field after beating New Zealand 7-0 in their IBAF Under-21 Baseball World Cup game in Greater Taichung yesterday.

Photo: Liao Yao-tung, Taipei Times

Taiwan improved their record to a perfect 4-0 with a 7-0 blanking of New Zealand in the Group A preliminaries of the 2014 IBAF Under-21 Baseball World Cup tournament at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium last night to clinch a first-place finish in Group A play.

Fresh off a big win over previously unbeaten South Korea the night before, the Islanders picked up where they left off with three quick runs off New Zealand starter Blair Johnstone on the strength of two hits and three timely errors by the visitors to spot starter Yang Jhih-long a 3-0 lead.

Although Johnstone got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first with an inning-ending groundout to strand three, the damage was already done as Yang mowed through the Kiwi lineup with relative ease over seven shutout frames of four-hit ball and nine strikeouts to attain a 7-0 lead before being relieved.

Other than a two-hit fifth that placed two runners in scoring position, the righty from Taipei’s Chinese Culture University was virtually unhittable against the visitors.

Relievers Liu Yu-yen and Huang Tzu-peng split a scoreless eighth and ninth to keep the shutout intact.

Offensively for the home team, a pair of double-play balls held the usually efficient lineup to just seven runs on the give hits they belted off the New Zealand pitching. If not for this, the score could have easily been 10-0, but that did not take away anything from another outstanding night at the plate by outfielder Tsao Yu-ning, who racked up four hits and scored once to lead the hosts at the plate.

“We did not string together the hits as well as we could have, that’s something we need to work on some more,” skipper Kuo-Lee Chien-fu said after the game.

The Islanders are to wrap up the preliminaries with tonight’s contest against Italy at the Intercontinental, the with opening pitch scheduled for 6:30pm.

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