Taiwan last night fell short to Japan 2-0 in the second game of the 25th IBAF Under-18 Baseball World Championship at the Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, South Korea, evening their mark to 1-1 over the first two days of play.
Failure to produce consistently at the plate continued to trouble Taiwan following their seven-hit effort over a weaker Czech Republic team the night before, as the Taiwanese hitters were totally shut down by Japan starter Shintaro Fujinami, who baffled the opposing hitters for the entire game in a two-hit gem.
With fastballs clocked at 151kph, the ace from the land of the samurais would finish with 13 strikeouts to demonstrate his total dominance.
Pitching into and out of trouble on several occasions was Taiwanese starter Hung Hsin-chi, who pitched well enough to keep his team in the game, but received no run support at all to settle for a tough loss.
Hung fell behind by a run early in the game as he served up a two-out double to Japan’s Hiroki Takahashi that scored the runner all the way from first.
The misfire proved costly for Taiwan, as the game quickly turned into a pitchers’ duel before Tomoya Mori’s inside-the-park home run off Hung in the seventh sealed the victory.
Taiwan had their best chance to score in the bottom of the sixth when Sen Yu-pin tried to score from second on a single to short by Lin Tzi-wei, but was gunned down at the plate by Kohei Sasagawa for an inning-ending out.
Next up for the Taiwanese are the die-hard Canadians, who are 2-0 with a pair of come-from-behind wins already under their belt. It is a must-win for the defending champs if they wish to remain in contention for a chance to defend the title.
South Korea 8, USA 2
South Korea pulled off a minor upset win against a potent US team in an 8-2 decision at the Jamsil Baseball Stadium yesterday afternoon, thanks to a four-run sixth that blew a 3-2 game wide open.
Yoon Dae-young’s bases-clearing double scored three of the home hosts’ four runs in the decisive sixth that made a winner out of starter Lee Su-min, who outpitched his US counterpart Keegan Thompson to deal the visitors their first loss of the tournament.
Canada 4, Italy 3
Canada won their second straight one-run game in as many days, denying Italy their first victory by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth to escape with a 4-3 win.
Enjoying a two-run cushion not once, but twice in the same game, the Italians thought they had the game all wrapped up through the top of the seventh with a 3-1 lead.
However, that would not be the case, as Canada managed to plate a run in the bottom of the seventh that made it 3-2 and rallied for a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the ninth to garner the victory.
Yesterday’s other results:
‧ Venezuela 6, Australia 3 (10th)
‧ Colombia 9, Netherlands 6
‧ Panama 6, Czech Republic 2