Taiwan closed out the 12U Baseball World Cup preliminaries in Group A with an 11-0 win over Italy at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu last night to finish with a 5-1 mark.
Solo homers by Chen Chih-chun led an efficient Taiwanese attack that rang up 15 hits off three different Italy hurlers in a game where Taiwan scored in all but two innings. Chen finished with a team-high three RBIs on three-for-four hitting.
After Chen’s leadoff blast off Italy starter Samuele Galli put the Taiwan ahead 1-0, Italy seemed to have things under control as Galli retired six of the next eight batters he faced to keep it 1-0 heading into the top of the third.
That was as close as Italy got, as Taiwan quickly put up three runs on the board with a home run and two singles on top of a walk, before an error by Italy’s defense put the game out of their reach.
Starter Wu Sheng-hong was credited with the win for his three innings of shutout ball, while the loss was handed to Italy’s Galli.
BRAZIL 6, PHILIPPINES 5 (7TH)
Brazil needed three runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Philippines, who rallied from two down in the top of the fifth to send the game into extra innings, before faltering in a three-run seventh to lose by one at Taipei Shing Sheng Park yesterday.
Roberto Morcilla’s wild pitch with the bases loaded scored the runner from third to cap a three-run seventh for the eventual victors, who may have been caught looking ahead of themselves after having secured a place in the next round with a third-placed finish in the Group A preliminaries.
Even though the loss sent the Philippines home without a win under their belt, their persistence and determination was admirable in a game in which they were double-digit underdogs.
JAPAN 5, MEXICO 4
Koyo Mizushima’s walk-off single off Mexican reliever Kevin Garcia with two outs was the game-winner as Japan answered a two-run rally by Mexico that tied the game in the top of the sixth with some late-inning magic of their own to prevail in a narrow win in Tianmu yesterday afternoon.
What looked like another rout for Japan, who greeted the Mexico pitching with four first-inning runs, highlighted by Daichi Aoki’s three-run blast, turned into a pitchers’ duel, with Mexico’s bullpen holding Japan scoreless through the fifth to stay in the game.
Making the most of the stellar bullpen work was the Mexico offense, who collected a run off Japanese starter Sora Yagihashi and his successor Ichiro Sato in the third and fourth respectively to half the deficit and set up Hector Vargas’ game-tying two-run double in the top of the sixth.
‧ USA 18, South Korea 1 (5th)
‧ Venezuela 8, Panama 4
‧ Russia 2, Hong Kong 1