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Taiwan stuns Korea to take baseball title

Taiwan stuns Korea to take baseball title

Taiwan overcame a tough challenge from archrival and tournament favorite South Korea to seize the "AAA" Asian Junior Baseball Championship yesterday in Taichung.
Taiwan shut out the Koreans 1-0 to win its second Asian "AAA" title, having won the championship in 2001 the last time it was held here.
The South Koreans have also won the title twice while the Japanese have carried away the trophy three times at the junior "AAA" level, where players up to 18 years old are eligible.
Last night's finale of the round-robin competition pitted the two teams that had been the class of the tournament, with sporting 5-0 records and recording massive wins against Asia's lesser teams.
Taiwan had shut out its previous four opponents and the Koreans had been nearly as good, yielding only a run to subpar Japan.
Both teams sent their aces to the mound in the gold-medal showdown - right-hander Huang Chih-lung for Taiwan, and lefty Jin Ya Gob for the Koreans.
In a game dominated by pitching and defense, Taiwan capitalized on its one good chance to score in the second inning. With two outs, Lin Wei-ting reached second on a throwing error by Korean shortstop An Chi Hong and just beat the throw of the Korean right fielder to score on second baseman Lin Chih-yuan's blooper to right.
That was all Huang needed, as he shut the Koreans down on one hit in pitching a complete-game shutout to lead his team to a gold medal.
Huang's scintillating efforts earned him MVP honors for both the game and the tournament, in which he pitched a total of 13 scoreless innings.
"This is one of my best games. I will always remember it," Huang said. "I really wanted to win this one. When coach asked me in the 8th inning to come out, I said no, I want to finish up this complete game. It is a great honor to represent your country and win the gold medal in an international tournament." When asked about his pitching, he said, "My location was good today. My fastball was working, and I also mixed it up with my change-up and slider and also used a split-finger fastball."
With only one loss, South Korea took home the silver, while Japan lost to its two East Asian rivals and finished in third place.
Thailand (2-3) was a pleasant surprise in taking fourth while Sri Lanka and Hong Kong pulled up the rear.


Updated : 2021-08-01 11:04 GMT+08:00