Homers by Wang Po-chun and Luo Guo-long led the way for Taiwan in a convincing 8-2 victory over Canada on Friday in the World Baseball Challenge preliminaries at Citizen Field in Prince George, Canada. The win improved Taiwan’s record at this year’s tournament to 2-1.
The Taiwanese bashing tandem — who batted an astounding 5-for-7 on the day with a pair of RBIs each — troubled the Canadian pitching throughout, with both homers belted with two outs to power the Islanders to victory.
Also starring for Taiwan was catcher Huang Chia-wei, who gunned down two base-stealers at second while collecting three hits for the second straight game to lead all players with a .750 batting average in the tournament so far.
The signal-caller for the Taiwan Cooperative Bank squad led Taiwan in total RBIs with four at the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands earlier this year. This followed a top-10 finish in total RBIs in this year’s annual spring national tournament back home.
Starter Lo Hua-wei held Canada to two lone runs on five hits over six innings. He overcame a shaky third, in which he served up Canada’s only runs on three hits, by retiring all but two of the next dozen batters he faced.
Following Lo’s superb act was setup man Hsieh Jung-hao, who tossed a scoreless seventh and eighth despite giving up a hit in each inning to prelude a perfect ninth by closer Chien Chia-yu.
Taiwan’s next opponents, the JX Eneos of Yokohama, earned the right to take part in this year’s competition by winning Japan’s annual Intercity Championship for a second straight year.
JAPAN 8, US 5
Earlier, Japan defeated the US, with Motoshi Oshiro credited with the win for his three innings of solid relief. The loss was charged to US starter Eric Huson.