Taipei, July 29 (CNA) Taiwan overwhelmed Czech Republic 16-0 in a Group A game at the U-12 Baseball World Cup in Tainan on Monday, improving its record to 3-1 in initial round robin play.
Taiwan opened the tournament Friday with a win over powerhouse Cuba and followed that with a victory over South Africa before losing to Japan on Sunday.
On Monday, the game was called after five innings because Taiwan had a lead of more than 10 runs.
A group of four Taiwanese pitchers -- starter Kuo Chen-an (郭辰安) and relievers Chen Yu-an (陳昱安), Chang Yao-yun (張耀允) and Yu Yan-cheng (余硯誠) -- combined to whitewash the Czechs, who entered the game with a 2-1 record after defeating Fiji and South Africa.
On offense, Taiwan jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, powered by a two-run homer by Huang Tien-szu (黃天賜).
The Taiwanese added two more in the second, another two in the third and one in the fourth before blowing the game open in the fifth inning with a seven-run rally, including a two-run home run by Yu Yan-cheng (余硯誠), that put the game away.
Lee Kuo-chiang (李國強), the coach of the Taiwan team, said his team rebounded well from its loss to Japan on Sunday to put away the Czechs.
Taiwan is second in Group A with a 3-1 record behind the 4-0 Japanese and is sure to qualify for the championship round if it defeats Fiji -- which it is heavily favored to do -- in its final Group A game Tuesday.
The U-12 Baseball World Cup is the under-12 baseball world championship sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC). Considered the highest level of competition in its age category, the U-12 Baseball World Championship is played every two years.
Taiwan won the tournament when it was first held in 2011, and has finished second in the three tournaments since in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
In this year's tournament, which runs until Aug. 4, Group A consists of Taiwan, Japan, Cuba, Czech Republic, South Africa, and Fiji, while Group B comprises the United States, Korea, Mexico, Australia, Venezuela and Italy.
The top three finishes in each group will qualify for the final round to determine the top finishers in the tournament.