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BASEBALL/Taiwan to vie for baseball tourney title after topping Philippines

12/09/2023 10:21 PM
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Taiwanese baseball players walk on the field together after they win the game against the Philippines at Taipei Dome on Saturday. CNA photo Dec. 9, 2023
Taiwanese baseball players walk on the field together after they win the game against the Philippines at Taipei Dome on Saturday. CNA photo Dec. 9, 2023

Taipei, Dec. 9 (CNA) A day after Taiwan lost to Japan in extra innings at the BFA Asian Baseball Championship, it earned the right to a rematch against the Japanese for the tournament's title with an unconvincing 2-1 victory over the Philippines on Saturday.

Taiwan may have been expecting an easy ride in the night game at the Taipei Dome, after the Philippines had lost to South Korea 8-2 and to Japan 9-1 earlier in the tournament.

But the hosts struggled to muster any offense over the first five innings, managing only three hits against starter Junmar Diarao and reliever Carlos Alberto Munoz.

Taiwan starter Wu Yu-cheng (伍祐城), meanwhile, was holding the Philippines in check, holding them scoreless for seven innings on four hits.

Taiwan finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth after it loaded the bases with one out on a walk, double, and hit batter.

Third baseman Liu Ji-hong (劉基鴻) then walked in one run, and first baseman Iyang Namoh hit a sacrifice fly to give Taiwan a 2-0 lead that held up.

The Philippines rallied in the top of the eighth, when center fielder Erwin Bosito drove in a run with a two-out single down the left field line off reliever Chang Jing-yu (張景淯), but Chang struck out Jon-Jon Robles to end the threat.

Taiwan will play Japan for the title at the Taipei Dome on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. after Japan defeated South Korea 5-2 earlier Saturday.

With the win, Japan finished the tournament's Super Round with a perfect 3-0 record to Taiwan's 2-1 and South Korea's 1-2, putting Japan and Taiwan in the title game.

Meanwhile, in the placement round, Pakistan finished fifth in the tournament despite losing to Hong Kong 6-5 on Saturday.

Pakistan, Hong Kong and Palestine all had 2-1 records in the placement round, but Pakistan beat out Hong Kong in sixth and Palestine in seventh on run differential.

In Saturday's other game, Palestine topped Thailand 4-0, leaving Thailand winless in the tournament.

(By Luke Sabatier)

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