Taiwan hands down Mexico's first loss in U-12 Baseball World Cup

08/01/2022 11:07 AM
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Photo courtesy of the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association
Photo courtesy of the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association

Taipei, Aug. 1 (CNA) Taiwan handed down Mexico its first loss at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup in Tainan, southern Taiwan, on Sunday, as the world baseball strong teams now tie for second place in the standings in Group A, trailing after undefeated Venezuela.

Following a loss to Venezuela on Saturday, Taiwan, competing under the name "Chinese Taipei," got its groove back by overcoming an early deficit, outscoring a previously undefeated Mexico 3-1 at Tainan's Asia-Pacific International Baseball Stadium, to conclude the third day of the tournament.

Taiwan, which is also the defending world champion from winning the last edition of the tournament in 2019, now holds a 2-1 record in the round-robin group stage after defeating Panama 4-3 and losing to Venezuela 8-10 on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Venezuela is at the top of the standings with an unblemished 3-0 record, while Taiwan and Mexico tie for second.

The win over Mexico was a much-needed victory for the Taiwanese to regain confidence after a heartbreaking loss to Venezuela just the night before.

Photo courtesy of the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association
Photo courtesy of the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association

Taiwan trailed early in the game as third baseman Ezequiel Rivera homered off starter Wu Sheng-zhi(吳聖智) to put Mexico in the lead by 1-0 at the bottom of the second.

Luckily the advantage was quickly put to rest as Taiwan's left fielder Yeh Yu-hsiang (葉宇翔) doubled off on Mexico starting pitcher Johnny Jimenez and scored on an error to tie the game 1-1 in the top of the third inning.

Further excitement bellowed from the stands of the Taiwanese home crowd in the top of the fifth inning as Chuang Po-yuan (莊博淵) singled through the right side, while Wu bolted with lightning speed from second base to the home plate to score.

Also in the fifth, Ou Tzu-chiao (歐子喬) tallied another 1 RBI after he singled through the left side as Chuang scored to lift Taiwan's lead to 3-1.

From there, Taiwan relief pitcher Chen Rui-xin (陳瑞鑫) put the icing on the cake, with sugar-sweet pitching, throwing two perfect innings that stamped the win.

Chen played with fire in his veins, throwing 36 pitches with 24 strikes. He struck out a total of four batters, including the three he faced in the bottom of the sixth as fans jumped out of their seats waving blue and white, the colors of the Taiwan team.

Photo courtesy of the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association
Photo courtesy of the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association

Taiwan will next face South Africa on Monday.

Now in its sixth edition, the 2022 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup has 11 teams competing in two groups in the opening round, held July 29 to Aug. 3, before each group's top three finishers advance to the super round.

The remaining teams will compete in the placement round, which is also played during the same dates of the super round between Aug. 4-6.

The top two finishers of the super round will compete for the U-12 World title on Aug. 7, while the number three and four place teams will play for the bronze medal on the same day.

Taiwan, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, South Africa, and Italy are playing in Group A, while Japan, South Korea, the United States, Czech Republic, and Dominican Republic in Group B.

(By William Yen)

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