Taipei, Nov. 16 (CNA) Taiwan’s national baseball team defeated Australia 5-1 in its last game Saturday in the six-team Super Round of the Premier12 championship in Japan.
Taiwan knocked out seven hits over Australia’s five, in a game dominated by Taiwanese pitcher Hu Chih-wei (胡智為) who let out three hits in five innings.
Hearing the cheers of support from Japanese and Taiwanese fans at Tokyo Dome, Taiwan stunned Australia with a RBI single up the middle by Wang Wei-chen (王威晨) in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead one to nothing.
Wang Wei-chen (王威晨)
Falling behind, Australia pulled out a double play to temporarily stop the rot and end the third inning.
With new Taiwan pitcher Lin Kai-wei (林凱威) on the mound, Australia’s Logan Wade knocked out a homer from a fast ball to the strike zone into deep right center field to equal the score by delivering an RBI single at the top of the six inning.
With first and third bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning, Wang delivered another RBI single through the right side to put Taiwan back in the lead 2-1, putting pressure on the Australian dugout.
However, until Lin Che-hsuan (林哲瑄) homered to deep left field in the same inning, bringing home three more runs that extended the lead to 5-1.
Australia attempted to catch up in the top of the ninth inning but to no avail, and the game ended with a Taiwan victory.
Lin Che-hsuan, who played for the Boston Red Sox in 2012, said he just wanted to hit the ball aggressively, which helped him knock out the home run.
Although Taiwan did not secure a slot for the baseball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics at the Premier12, Lin said he believes the team can still qualify next year.
Taiwan failed to secure an Olympic berth at the Premier12 tournament after its 3-2 loss against the United States Friday and will need to take its chances in the Olympic Final Qualifying Tournament, which takes place from April 1-5, 2020 in Taichung.
“I want to thank our supporters and my family, because I think it is very honorable to represent Taiwan and I hope to wear the uniform again,” he said.
Lin Che-hsuan (林哲瑄, right)
Lin Che-hsuan (林哲瑄, front)
Video source: WBSC YouTube channel
Taiwan, which is competing under the name Chinese Taipei, now has a 2-3 record in the six-team Super Round of the Premier12. It is also currently fourth place in the table, alongside the U.S.
The other countries ranked in the list, are Japan and South Korea both vying at the top with a record of 3-1, followed by Mexico (3-2), and Australia (1-4) at the bottom.
Defending champions South Korea will face the hosts Japan in the championship finals Sunday, while the U.S. will play Mexico in the bronze medal game.
Sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the 2019 edition of the Premier12 features the top 12 teams in the WBSC’s 2018 year-end world rankings.
Baseball is returning to next year’s Summer Olympics for the first time since 2008, and this year’s Premier12 serves as a qualifying event for the Olympics.
Taiwan finished in ninth place in the inaugural Premier12, failing to advance to the quarterfinals after finishing with a 2-3 record in Group A. South Korea won the 2015 Premier12 championship.
(By William Yen)