Los Angeles, Aug. 5 (CNA) Taiwan beat a team from Salinas, California, in the group stage of the 2012 Pony Baseball Bronco League World Series Sunday to keep alive its hopes of advancing to the tournament's semifinals.
Taiwan topped the previously undefeated team from Toro Park 7-2 to create a three-way logjam at the top of its five-team White Group.
At the end of Sunday's games, Taiwan, Toro Park and St. Joe's Illinois all had 2-1 records with a game to play in the group stage, with only the top two teams qualifying for the semifinals.
A loss to Toro Park and Taiwan, made up of elementary school students from Taitung County, would have been ousted because it lost to St. Joe's 5-4 on Saturday.
Toro Park seemed determined to quell Taiwan's championship hopes, scoring two runs in the top of the first off starter Ho Chun-yu.
But Taiwan responded with a run in each of the first two innings to tie the game and then staked out a 5-2 lead with a three-run rally in the third.
It then padded its lead with a two-run homer by Yu Ya-cho an inning later, and the team's pitchers shut down Toro Park after the bumpy opening stanza to secure the win.
The Taiwanese will play their final group game Monday against Trujillo Alto of Puerto Rico, which has yet to win a game in the tournament.
In the World Series semifinals, slated for Aug. 8, the top two teams in the White Group will play against the top two teams in the Green Group for a place in the Aug. 9 championship game.
The Bronco League, open to children below 12 years of age, is part of the Pony Baseball League.
The Pony, which stands for Protect Our Nation's Youth, is a private organization founded in 1950 in the United States with the purpose of promoting baseball around the world. It has developed a system of competition based on seven age groups.
Taiwan joined the Pony competition system in 1993.
(By Oscar Wu and Elizabeth Hsu)