TAIPEI (CNA) -- Taiwan got off to a good start in the U-12 Baseball World Cup in Tainan on Friday with a solid 4-2 win against powerhouse Cuba in the tournament's opening game.
Taiwan took the lead in the first inning on a walk and a single through the right side of the infield by Huang Tien-szu (黃天賜) and added two more runs in the third to go up 3-0. The Cubans narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the top of the fourth with two runs against starting pitcher Chen Kai-sheng (陳楷升), but Chen gave his team a key insurance run in the fifth with a base hit to right-center, driving home Yeh Hung-jen (葉弘仁) from second.
Reliever Lin Cheng-yu (林丞宥) retired the Cubans in order in the sixth on two strikeouts and a groundout to preserve the win. Taiwan will next play South Africa in a Group A game on Saturday.
The U-12 Baseball World Cup is the under-12 baseball world championship sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC). Considered the highest level of competition in its age category, the U-12 Baseball World Championship is played every two years.
Taiwan won the tournament when it was first held in 2011, and has finished second in the three tournaments since in 2013, 2015 and 2017. In this year's tournament, which runs until Aug. 4, Group A consists of Taiwan, Japan, Cuba, Czech Republic, South Africa, and Fiji, while Group B comprises the United States, Korea, Mexico, Australia, Venezuela, and Italy.
The top three finishes in each group will qualify for the final round to determine the top finishers in the tournament.