The Philippines yesterday dominated Thailand 14-4 at the Taipei Dome in the opening game of Group B on the second day of the Asian Baseball Championship, while Palestine pipped Hong Kong 3-1 in Taichung in Group A.
World No. 35 the Philippines put themselves on the board early, racking up two runs in the first inning, followed by two in the third, one each in the fourth and fifth, and three in the sixth.
Thailand, ranked 43rd in the world, did not get on the board until the top of the seventh inning, when they tried to stage a comeback, putting up four runs.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kun, Taipei Times
It was not enough to overcome the Philippines, who responded with five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to close out the game.
In Group B’s late game in Taipei, world No. 1 Japan devastated Pakistan 14-0.
After grabbing six runs in the first four innings, Japan piled on the hurt with eight runs in the bottom of the fifth.
At Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, where Group A games are being played, Tarik Elabour, who was walked onto base after being hit with the ball, scored world No. 55 Palestine’s first run of the series in the top of the sixth inning.
Hong Kong responded in the bottom of the seventh, when, with two outs on the board, Chan Cheuk Kiu put himself on third off a single, and then scored after a single by Anson Fung was fumbled in the outfield.
Palestine immediately responded in the top of the eighth inning, with Yunis Haleem scoring off a double by Tariq Suboh to retake the lead, which Palestine extended to 3-1 in the ninth inning.
In the Group A opener on Sunday, Taiwan set a series of firsts in the Taipei Dome’s first official baseball game, with star pitcher Hsu Jo-hsi setting the tone, striking out 10 and yielding just two hits through seven scoreless innings in their 4-0 dominant victory over world No. 5 South Korea.
The 23-year-old Hsu, fresh from leading the CPBL’s Wei Chuan Dragons to their first Taiwan Series victory in 24 years, threw 65 strikes in 77 pitches.
“I want to thank the manager for having me start and throw the first-ever pitch in a game at the Taipei Dome. The only thing I can do is show everyone the best I got,” Hsu said during a post-game interview.
In two starts against the Rakuten Monkeys in last year’s best-of-seven Taiwan Series, Hsu surrendered just one run in 11 innings to be named the Series Most Valuable Player.
Sunday’s historic game also featured Chen Hsiao-yun, the sole amateur player for Taiwan, batting in captain Namoh Iyang for the indoor stadium’s first RBI, while Lin Chen-fei recorded the dome’s first hit and Iyang got the first extra-base hit.
Today, South Korea would seek to earn its first win against Hong Kong, while Taiwan is to face Palestine in the late game.
In the Group B games, Pakistan is to play the Philippines, while Japan is take on Thailand.
The top two finishers of each group compete in the Super Round on Friday and Saturday, with the first and second place teams earning a WSBC U-23 Baseball World Cup berth.
Additional reporting by CNA
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