Taiwan began the quest to defend their title by topping Brazil 10-0 in five innings in the opener of the 12U Baseball World Cup at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu last night.
The home boys made their country proud by picking up three quick runs off a slightly rattled Brazil squad, who had to travel for more than 30 hours to get to Taiwan, in the bottom of the first.
They tacked on two more runs in the third, before blowing the game wide open with five runs in the fifth to cruise to victory.
Chen Ching-chieh drove in a game-high three RBIs on a two-for-three night to lead a Taiwanese attack that belted 10 runs off two Brazil hurlers on as many hits to spot the home side an auspicious start.
He also started the game on the mound for Taiwan with four strikeouts to his credit over two innings of play before being reassigned to left-field from the third inning on.
Also starring was Chen Po-chun, who knocked in a pair of runs and scored twice on two-for-two hitting in front of the home crowd to maintain a perfect 1.000 batting average.
Picking up the win was reliever Chao Sheng-yao, who followed Chen Ching-chieh’s example with three near-flawless innings of no-hit ball to keep the Brazil hitters at bay.
MEXICO 6, ITALY 3
Mexico doubled up on Italy in the opener of the tournament at the Taipei Youth Park yesterday morning.
Mexico starter Martin Olivas overcame a sluggish beginning that cost him three runs in the top of the first by tossing scoreless ball one out into the fifth to give his offense enough time to chip away at the deficit.
He was rewarded with the win for his 4-1/3 innings of three-run ball on eight hits.
Taking the loss was Italy reliever Samuele Catalano, who was charged for allowing Mexico’s go-ahead runs in the fourth in a losing effort.
US 2, PANAMA 0
Anthony Volpe’s sacrifice fly scored Adam Crampton from third to give the US a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first and the US youngsters went on to blank Panama in their opener in Tianmu yesterday morning.
US starter Justin Campbell struck out eight in a three-hit gem to silence a Panama attack that came into the competition with high expectations as the only representatives from Central America.
In other games it was:
‧ S Korea 23, Pakistan 0 (4th)
‧ Japan 15, Czech Rep. 0 (4th)
‧ Venezuela 24, Hong Kong 0 (4th)