Taiwan places 3rd in baseball at East Asian Games in China
CNATIANJING -- Taiwan's national baseball team took bronze at the East Asian Games in China on Monday with a 4-0 victory over the host country.
October 15, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
Having lost 6-0 to Japan in a semifinal game on Sunday, Taiwan was hoping not to fall to the Chinese for the second time in the tournament, after being upset by them 4-3 in extra innings in the preliminary round.
Taiwanese batters struggled early, going hitless over the first three innings. But they rallied for two runs in the fourth on a two-out double to left by Hsiao Po-ting.
Taiwan added insurance runs in the seventh and the ninth, but they weren't needed because of the strong outings by starter Lo Hua-wei, who went six innings, and reliever Kuo Chun-lin.
The two allowed only five hits and combined for 13 strikeouts in shutting out the Chinese.
As well as Lo pitched, he admitted that the team had hoped for more than bronze at the East Asian Games. “Before the tournament, our goal was gold. I'm not satisfied with this result.”
Taiwan manager Lu Ming-tsu praised his two pitchers but said his hitters started off nervous and did not settle down until after Hsiao delivered his clutch double.
Overall, Lu warned of China's baseball growth, saying it had made “notable” progress.
“We can no longer overlook China as an opponent as they are getting closer to us,” Lu said, recalling Taiwan's preliminary round game against the Chinese when the hosts made up a three-run deficit to force extra innings before winning.
Taiwan opened preliminary round play with shutout wins over Guam, Hong Kong, eventual gold medalist Japan, and Mongolia.
But then came its shock defeat to China and a 5-3 loss to Korea, leaving it fourth in the preliminary round with a 4-2 record, which set up a semifinal game against Japan.
Japan beat Taiwan 6-0 and won the gold medal by defeating Korea 4-2. Korea reached the final after topping China 8-3 in the semifinal round.