Fri, Aug 14, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Taoyuan youth win baseball title in US

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with CNA, WASHINGTON

Players and staff of a team of Taoyuan youth baseballers representing Taiwan pose for a photograph following their 12-1 win over a team from San Bernardino, California, in the final of the Pony League Youth Baseball Championship in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday.

Photo: CNA

A Taiwanese youth baseball team of 13 and 14-year-olds won the Pony League Youth Baseball Championship in the Pittsburgh suburb of Washington, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, with a 12-1 victory over a team from San Bernardino, California.

After two strike outs in the first inning, the Taiwanese side went on an all-out offensive. Hits from Chen Feng and Wu Chih-lung put them up 5-0 in the first, forcing the US team to replace starting pitcher Devyn Lopez.

In the fourth inning, Ho Yi-lung smacked a home run to put the team up 6-1. The fifth inning saw the opposing pitcher still unable to control the tourists, allowing another six runs to see the lead stretch to 12-1.

Five Taiwanese players had multiple hits, led by Ho who went four-for-four with a solo homer, a double and two singles.

Starting pitcher Lee Chen-cheng gave a solid performance, bagging the win by sailing through five frames and only allowing one run on three hits.

Lopez took the loss for US after giving up five runs on five hits and a walk in the first inning.

Taiwan were represented by players from Taoyuan County school teams. The county had been a finalist in previous Pony world title games, but this was their first championship win.

“This is the third time we reached this stage, but in previous years, we lost the title game. We are celebrating because we have done it this time,” manager Huang Chih-wei said. “All credit to the young players, as they hung on tight and did not let up until the game was over.”

“We had a better preparation this time, with both pitchers and batters making good adjustment as the competition went on,” he said.

“Our pitching coach did an outstanding job, because the pitchers gave up only three runs in the final four games,” he added.

To get to the final, the Taiwanese team had to defeat a strong Puerto Rico side, which they did handily on Wednesday to gain the top spot in the finals group.

The players expressed their immense glee at winning the championship, with plenty of hugs and smiles to go around.

The win comes after Taiwan’s Bronco team, consisting of players aged 11 and 12, were eliminated due to an apparent misunderstanding of the tournament’s rules regarding the use of pitchers.

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