Shutting out New Zealand in a 9-0 final at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium, Taiwan clinched the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in New Taipei City on Sunday night to earn a place in the first round of play in Pool B of the 2013 World Baseball Classic in Taichung in March next year.
It was the third straight shutout win for the hosts in this year’s competition after they had cruised past the Kiwis in their first meeting by a 10-0 margin on Thursday and followed up with a 16-0 victory over the Philippines on Friday.
Chang Chien-ming’s bases-clearing three-run double off New Zealand reliever Andrew Marck highlighted a six-run fourth as the home team took a 7-0 lead through the fourth after managing to plate only one run over the first three frames against New Zealand starter John Holdzkom.
Taiwan had a chance to put the game away in the seventh under the mercy rule, but failed to score their 10th run on two different attempts as the Kiwis held their ground to stretch it to a full nine innings. It was a moral victory for the visitors considering that Taiwan had won their two previous games by the mercy rule.
Starter Yang Yao-hsun was credited with the win for his two-hit effort over four scoreless innings. His counterpart Holdzkom was tagged with the loss for three solid innings before faltering against the hosts in the fourth.