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Taiwan grabs silver in baseball at Asian Games

2014/09/28 22:32:44

Taipei, Sept. 28 (CNA) Taiwan saw its dreams of grabbing a gold in baseball at the Asian Games dashed after game host and longtime rival South Korea staged a late rally to overcome Taiwan 6-3 in the final in Incheon Sunday.

Taiwan struggled at the beginning of the game, when South Korea made consecutive hits and a walk to have bases loaded in the top of the first inning.

But Taiwanese starter Kuo Chun-lin helped diffuse the crisis by striking out batters Park Byung-ho and Kang Jung-ho and containing the next eight batters over the following four innings.

A breakthrough came at the bottom of the first inning after a three-base hit from Chen Pin-chieh and a grounder by Lin Han gave Taiwan a 1-0 lead.

South Korea made its comeback in the 5th with a 2-1 lead after consecutive hits and misses on Taiwan's part. Kuo retired after 4 2/3 innings.

Hits by Taiwan's Lin Kun-sheng and Lin Han in the 6th helped tie the score at 2-2, and a sacrifice fly by Kuo Yen-wen helped Taiwan surge ahead to 3-2.

The team continued to hold its own up until the 8th inning, when its one-run lead was destroyed by South Korea's four runs scored in a single inning.

While the silver may have been disappointing for Taiwan, the scoreboard looked much better than the beating it got against South Korea in the preliminaries, where the host team routed Taiwan 10-0.

Taiwan had recovered from that round with a 10-4 victory over Japan in the semi-finals to face off against South Korea once again.

This was the second time in a row that Taiwan lost to South Korea in the final of Asian Games baseball event. It was trounced by South Korea 9-3 in the final of the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.

(By Lin Hung-han and Scully Hsiao)