Clutch hitting by Seichi Uchikawa coupled with brilliant outings by four different hurlers lifted Japan’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks past Australia’s Perth Heat in a 4-0 shutout in this year’s Asia Series at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium yesterday afternoon.
The veteran slugger who led the Pacific League in hitting during the regular season was at his best when it counted most as he went a solid 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position and two outs, to drive in three of his team’s four runs in the game.
The two wins by the Hawks earned them a spot in tomorrow night’s title game, when the winners will go home with a hefty NT$15 million (US$495,000) check in prize money.
Starter Sho Iwasaki allowed lead-off singles to the Australians in the first and second innings, but managed to get out of trouble on both occasions before turning the game to his bullpen mates, who combined for seven innings of one-hit ball to keep the shutout intact.
The decision to go with a group effort on the mound proved wise for Hawks skipper Koji Akiyama, who should have all his pitchers available for tomorrow’s title game because the most that a single pitcher had pitched was reliever and game-winner Shingo Tatsumi’s four innings.
Miscues on the defensive side hurt the Heat as three of the four runs allowed by starter Trevor Caughey were unearned because of a pair of errors by his defense. They committed three errors to make it virtually impossible to win against any team, let alone the top club in Japan.
SAMSUNG LIONS 6,
UNI-PRESIDENT LIONS 3
Choi Hyung-woo’s two-run blast off reliever Ryan Glenn broke a 3-all tie in the eighth as South Korea’s Samsung Lions defeated Taiwan’s Uni-President Lions 6-3 in Taoyuan last night for a chance to take on the Hawks in tomorrow night’s title game.
Samsung took a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the third against Uni-President starter Seth Etherton and made it 3-0 an inning later before the hosts finally got on the board in the bottom of the four on the strength of Yang Song-hsuan’s RBI single off Samsung starter Bae Young-soo.
Trailing by two, Uni-President managed to tie the game at 3-all, with Kuo Chun-yo’s pinch-hit homer off Samsung reliever Kwon Oh-joon in the bottom of the sixth, setting the stage for Choi’s game-winning swing.
There is a reverential hush from the respectful crowd as Pakistan’s Sadia Iqbal opens the bowling to Bangladesh’s Shathi Rani in the Asian Games women’s bronze medal match in Hangzhou, China. The sound of leather on willow echoes around the purpose-built cricket ground, which until recently was full of sunflowers. The atmosphere is more village green than the fever pitch of, say, Pakistan’s Gaddafi Stadium, but the few hundred spectators are fully engaged — even if many admit to never seeing the game before. Almost entirely Chinese, the crowd “oohs and aahs” and clap when a wicket falls, cheer every boundary and
With some players in their 70s and opponents young enough to be their grandchildren, age is just a number for bridge competitors engaged in a battle of wits at the Asian Games. Masood Mazhar was born in the final months of World War II and before the partition of India and Pakistan, while Taiwan’s Chen Kuan-hsuan is just 23. “My father used to play so I’ve been playing all my life,” said the 78-year-old Mazhar, competing for Pakistan. People have enjoyed variations of bridge for centuries, but the tactical card game is a relatively new discipline at the Asian Games, only becoming a
A rampant Nepal yesterday rewrote the T20 international cricket record books at the Asian Games, while China’s Zhang Yufei laid down another marker for the Paris Olympics in the swimming pool. Hosts China were leading the medals table with 74 golds as of press time last night, far ahead of South Korea (18) and Japan (14), after adding titles in artistic gymnastics, chess, sailing, shooting, wushu and beach volleyball. Taiwan has two golds, three silvers and three bronzes. In some of the first action on day four in Hangzhou, Nepal smashed a series of records to open the men’s cricket competition in a
Hangzhou stepped up security ahead of yesterday’s opening of the Asian Games in China, as organizers sought to get the sporting extravaganza off to a smooth start, with Chinese President Xi Jinping among the dignitaries in attendance. Roads in a sizeable “traffic control area” around the city’s Olympic stadium were blocked off, at least one metro station was shut and other Games centers were closed ahead of a ceremony organizers described as “mesmerizing.” Some of those making the trek toward the main stadium were left frustrated by the size of the sealed-off area. “I think it shows they’re too nervous, right?” said 45-year-old