Taiwan outscored by US in WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup

Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) The U-12 baseball defending world champions Taiwan was knocked out of its campaign for back-to-back title wins as it was outscored by the United States in the Super Round of the 2022 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup in Tainan on Friday evening.

The 8-6 defeat at ASPAC Youth stadium meant that Taiwan, competing under the name “Chinese Taipei,” will no longer advance to the championship game on Sunday, but still has a shot at the bronze medal matchup if it beats South Korea in the last game of the Super Round on Saturday.

Taiwan, winners of the 2019 edition of the tournament, currently holds a 2-2 record, trailing behind Venezuela and the US at 3-1 and 4-0, respectively.

However, even if Taiwan defeats South Korea and Venezuela ends up losing its next game on Saturday, the East Asian side will still not qualify for the championship game because head-to-head results of the Opening Round were carried over into the Super Round.

Taiwan had lost to Venezuela 10-8 in the Opening Round on July 30.

To that end, the US, which currently has a 4-0 record, will be pitted against Venezuela in the championship game on Sunday.

After Friday’s game, Taiwan team manager Lai Chao-jung (làicháoróng) said one of the reasons for the latest loss was possibly due to his players struggling to play with confidence.

Even though the US is a strong batting team, the number of strikes would have increased if Taiwan’s pitchers picked up their speed, but the pitchers did not play at their usual standard, Lai said.

Taiwan was in the lead 1-0 at the start of the game, but the US got their first home run as early as the bottom of the first when Colin Anderson homered up into the clouds in deep left center to also send home Anthony Frausto III to flip the scoreboard 2-1.

From there, the rain forced the game to be delayed for about an hour.

After the game resumed, Taiwan momentarily took back the lead 3-2 in the third inning when relief pitcher Chen Rui-xin (chénruìxīn) drove US starter Dylan Mercado’s first pitch over the left field wall for a two-run homer.

At the top of the fourth, Taiwan picked up another run to lead by 2.

Just when it looked as if Taiwan was steadily picking up steam, the US loaded all of its bases in the bottom of the fourth for Frausto him to drive reliever Ou Tzu-chiao’s (ōuziqiáo) fourth pitch into a lofty grand slam that flew over the fence in the right-center, putting the US back ahead, 6-4.

After both teams scored two runs each in the fifth inning, Taiwan was sent to the plate at the top of the sixth for its final opportunity to save the game. However, US pitcher Levi Kerr got the three final outs and punched his team’s ticket to the championship game.

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