Miscues on the base paths that denied Taiwan at least two runs ultimately cost the hosts the win as they squandered a three-run lead in the seventh by surrendering five unanswered runs late in the game to lose 5-7 to the US at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in the second round of this year’s 18U Baseball World Cup last night.
After falling behind 0-2 in the bottom of the second, Taiwan plated three runs in the top of the third on the strength of two singles and a two-run double off US starter Justus Sheffield to gain a 3-2 advantage.
Runs by Taiwan in the fifth and the sixth made it 5-2 before a series of costly base-running mistakes.
Yin De-rong was called out at second for leaving the base bag too soon in celebration after belting a run-scoring single and advancing to second on the throw.
He was not the lone offender as Chen Tzu-hao was picked off at first in the sixth before Taiwan missed two more scoring chances in the eighth to lose the game.
S KOREA 11, VENEZUELA 1 (8TH)
South Korea claimed their first win in the second round with an 11-1 triumph over Venezuela in eight innings in Taichung yesterday afternoon to improve to a 1-3 record.
Lim Byeong-wuk had a big day at the plate with a two-run home run off Venezuelan starter Juan Vegas in the top of the third to cap a three-run frame that broke a scoreless tie.
He racked up three RBIs and scored twice on a 3-for-4 outing to lead a South Korean lineup that rang up 13 hits.
Holding Venezuela scoreless through the sixth were South Korean starter An Kyu-hyun and reliever Park Se-woong who scattered four hits while fanning seven and walking two.
Even though Yu Hee-woon was unable to keep the shutout intact with a run allowed in the bottom of the seventh on a single and a triple, the outcome was never in doubt.
Park was credited with the win, while Vegas was charged with the loss for serving up seven runs (four earned) on five hits and as many walks over 3-2/3 innings of play.
CUBA 0, JAPAN 10
Six eighth-inning runs by Japan blew a 4-0 game wide open for Japan as they topped Cuba.
The win not only kept Japan’s unbeaten record at 4-0 in the second round, but more importantly earned them a ticket into tomorrow night’s title game.