Taiwan, Japan to vie for 28th Asian baseball crown

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Oct 07, 2017 - Page 16

Taiwan and Japan are to face off tomorrow for the title in the 28th edition of the Asian Baseball Championship, which has been taking place in Taiwan all this week.

Taiwan starting pitcher Wang Tsung-hao mixed up his throws effectively to shut down the Philippines and lead the hosts to a 14-0 rout at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City last night.

With his left-handed delivery, Wang baffled the opposition batters to no-hit the visitors through seven innings and picked up 11 strikeouts along the way.

“I am proud to win it on a no-hit game. All credit to the catcher, I just followed his instruction and pitched where he wanted the ball. I hope we can continue our winning ways to the end,” Wang said.

Taiwan’s batters pounded the Philippines pitchers to score nine runs by the fourth frame, with timely hits by third baseman Chen Wei-chih, outfielder Lin Chu-chieh and first baseman Lin Han, as the hosts cruised the rest of the way.

Earlier, Japan pitcher Masaki Tanigawa celebrated his 25th birthday by picking up an important 3-0 win against South Korea.

Tanigawa was in sharp form against the powerful South Korea hitters, as he held firm to scatter six hits and strike out 11 to register the shutout victory.

“It is my goal to show what I can do in this tournament, as we know the scouts are watching and I am signed up for the Japanese professional baseball draft later this month,” Tanigawa said.

He said it was helpful to watch Taiwan play South Korea on Tuesday (which Taiwan won 3-2 in extra innings), as he studied the hitters and made plans on how to pitch when facing the two strong teams.

In the other contest yesterday at the Tianmu Baseball Stadium in Taipei, Pakistan hammered Sri Lanka 10-2.

South Korea take on the Philippines this afternoon, while Hong Kong are to face Sri Lanka.

The final round-robin contest is a warm-up for the final as the hosts take on Japan in Sinjhuang at 6pm, which both managers said would serve as good preparation for the title showdown tomorrow.