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BASEBALL/Taiwan beats Hong Kong 17-2 at Asian Baseball Championship

12/06/2023 10:34 PM
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Taiwanese baseball player Liu Ji-hong (front) high fives with his teammates during Wednesday’s game against Hong Kong at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium. Photo courtesy of Chinese Taipei Baseball Association Dec. 6, 2023
Taiwanese baseball player Liu Ji-hong (front) high fives with his teammates during Wednesday’s game against Hong Kong at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium. Photo courtesy of Chinese Taipei Baseball Association Dec. 6, 2023

Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) Taiwan defeated Hong Kong 17-2 in five innings on Wednesday at the BFA Asian Baseball Championship being held in Taiwan.

In the first inning, Hong Kong scored the first run of the game as Chan Cheuk-kiu (陳卓喬) notched a triple followed by a sacrifice fly from Cheng Hoi-ting (鄭鎧霆). Chan ran for home base and put Hong Kong in front 1-0.

Taiwan bounced back at the bottom of the first inning, with slugger Liu Ji-hong (劉基鴻) hitting a home run and scoring two runs for Taiwan to take the lead 2-1.

Liu Ji-hong runs on the field after hitting a home run on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Chinese Taipei Baseball Association Dec. 6, 2023
Liu Ji-hong runs on the field after hitting a home run on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Chinese Taipei Baseball Association Dec. 6, 2023

Following the home run, team Taiwan continued to accumulate runs, and were on first and third bases at the bottom of the second inning, securing one more run after Hong Kong pitcher Lam Lai-him (林灃謙) attempted a pickoff but instead threw a wild pitch.

Taiwan's Namoh Iyang (拿莫.伊漾) also added to the tally of runs after Chiu Chih-cheng (邱智呈) hit a grounder in the inning, bringing Taiwan's score to four.

In the following inning, Taiwan kept its momentum and widened the gap, making 8 runs, with Chiu bringing Taiwan's total score to 14 with another triple.

The gap in scores increased to 15 in the fifth inning as Taiwan's players kept loading bases and the game was called after the inning ended.

Taiwan's starting pitcher Lai Yan-fong (賴延峰) pitched 4 inning with 42 balls during the game.

20-year-old Lai only gave up four hits and fanned five. Following Lai, pitcher Liu Yu-cheng (劉予承) also pitched an inning and did not concede any points.

After the game, Liu said he was very offensive during the match, seizing chances when Hong Kong made pitching errors.

Meanwhile, Team Taiwan coach Kuo Lee Chien-fu (郭李建夫) said everyone has been doing a great job, adding that he hopes the players can keep their momentum going into the Super Round.

Philippines players chat with the audience at Taipei Dome following their game against Japan in the group stage of the Asian Baseball Championship on Wednesday. Mark Steven Manaig of the Southeast Asian team said it was the first time he played in front of an audience of more than 9,000. CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023
Philippines players chat with the audience at Taipei Dome following their game against Japan in the group stage of the Asian Baseball Championship on Wednesday. Mark Steven Manaig of the Southeast Asian team said it was the first time he played in front of an audience of more than 9,000. CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023

In other action Wednesday, Pakistan defeated Thailand 4-1, though neither team advanced to the Super Round, while Japan toppled the Philippines 9-1.

Taiwan has already reached the Super Round after defeating South Korea and Palestine in earlier games. The top two teams in the Super Round will compete for the title at Taipei Dome on Sunday.

The eight-day championship is being played mostly by amateurs, except for Taiwan, which has fielded a team consisting primarily of players from Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL).

(By Yang Chi-fang and Evelyn Yang)

Enditem/AW

Pitcher Musharaf Khan (center) with his teammates after the game with Thailand on Wednesday. CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023
Pitcher Musharaf Khan (center) with his teammates after the game with Thailand on Wednesday. CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023
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