After losing to South Korea the night before, Taiwan yesterday beat Australia 4-3 on a walk-off hit by Kuo Tien-hsin in the bottom of the ninth to finish third at the Asia Professional Baseball Championship in Tokyo.
Kuo came up with runners on first and third and one out, and punched a base hit to the right to put the game away for Taiwan in their third-place playoff game at the Tokyo Dome.
The four-team tournament was for professional players mostly under the age of 24.
Photo courtesy of the Chinese Professional Baseball League via CNA
Yesterday’s showdown was as much of a nail-biter as the two teams’ preliminary-round game on Friday, in which neither team could manage to score a run in the regulation nine innings before Taiwan erupted for six runs in the top of the 10th and won 6-0.
Taiwan were not much better offensively in yesterday’s rematch, but were able to take a 3-0 lead in the third inning on just two hits and help from the Australians, including a walk, a wild pitch, an error and a hit batter.
However, Taiwan were completely shut down over the next five innings, mostly by Australian reliever Coen Wynne, who retired 12 straight after entering the game in the fifth inning, before giving up two hits in the ninth.
Australia scored one run in the fourth and tied the game with two runs in the seventh on a two-out bases-loaded single to center by shortstop Liam Spence.
Taiwan starting pitcher Chiu Chun-wei struck out two and gave three hits and one walk over four innings.
It was Taiwan’s second consecutive third-place finish at the Asia Professional Baseball Championship, which was first held in 2017.
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