Tag Archive | "Chinese Taipei"

Netherlands Walk Off with Win Against Chinese Taipei


Netherlands Walk Off with Win and Walk into Round 2

The Netherlands got the scoring started in the 2nd inning. Wladimir Balentien singled to start the inning. After a fly out from Jonathan Schoop, Didi Gregorius just missed a home run lining a double off the right field wall that put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Curt Smith grounded into a fielder’s choice but Dashenko Ricardo came through for the Dutch with a single to center scoring Smith from 3rd to give them a 1-0 lead.

However, Chinese Taipei came right back in the top of the 3rd inning to take the lead. The first run came on a wild pitch by Jair Jurrjens that tied the game. Chih-Sheng Lin then followed that up with a RBI single to put Chinese Taipei up 2-1.

In the back-and-forth game, the Netherlands went back on top 3-2 on a 2-run double by Didi Gregorius scoring both Balentien and Schoop, both who had singled. Ricardo followed that up with a RBI single to right to score Gregorius, and they continued to threaten. Randolph Oduber was then hit by a pitch putting runners at 1st and 2nd as the Dutch lineup came back around to the top of the order. However, Chinese Taipei was able to get out of the inning after getting Andrelton Simmons to ground into a double play.

And as the game went Chinese Taipei bounced right back with 3 runs of its own in the top of the 5th to go up 5-4. The Dutch would tie the game in the bottom of the 8th setting up the walk-off win in the 9th inning.

With the bases loaded, Jurickson Profar was the hero once again. He took a 3-2 pitch high and outside for the walk-off walk.

The win puts the Netherlands and Israel into Round 2 in Tokyo.

Notable Players:

Didi Gregorius finished the game with 3 RBI, 2 runs scored, and 3 doubles to lead the Dutch offense.

Wladimir Balentien went 4-for-4 in the game raising his average so far in the WBC to .714.

Mike Bolsenbroek pitched solid out of the pen for the Dutch. He tossed 3.0 shutout innings in relief.

On the Chinese Taipei side, Chih-Hao Chang went 3-for-5 including a 2-run home run.

Pool A Standings from Seoul, South Korea:

  1. Israel 2-0
  2. Netherlands 2-0
  3. South Korea 0-2
  4. Chinese Taipei 0-2

Israel and the Netherlands will play to see who gets the no. 1 seed from Pool A going into Round 2.

Netherlands Walk Off

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Israel Routes Chinese Taipei at World Baseball Classic


Israel routes Chinese Taipei

Israel blasted Chinese Taipei in Game 2 of Pool A in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Team Israel jumped out to a 4-0 lead after half an inning. Sam Fuld led off the game with a single to right. Ty Kelly followed him up with a long double off the right field wall to put runners at 2nd and 3rd, and Ike Davis kept hitting. Lining a rocket to right, Davis drove in both Fuld and Kelly to get Israel on the board. Then for the 4th time in their short tournament, Israel loaded the bases. This time they got a big hit from Tyler Krieger who singled up the middle driving in 2 runs.

After Kuan-yu Chen came in to relive starter Chun-lin Kuo, things started to settle down for Chinese Taipei. That is until Ryan Larvanway came up with a runner on in the top of the 3rd inning. Lavarnway drilled a pitch to deep left-center for a 2-run home run putting Israel up 6-0.

Team Israel got a nice start from Corey Baker who went 4.2 innings allowing just 3 hits and striking out 3. R.C. Orlan came on to relieve him in the 5th inning.

Chinese Taipei got a break in the bottom of the 6th inning when reliever Orlan fielded a ground ball that was tailor made for a double play. The throw was a bit off line and the shortstop Krieger could not come up with it allowing the hitter to reach and putting runners at the corners. After a walk loading the bases, Orlan was pulled in favor of Tyler Herron.

And then just like that Chinese Taipei was back in the game. Chih-sheng Lin just missed a grand slam as he doubled off the wall in left to drive in 2 runs. Yi-chuan Lin followed with a sacrifice fly to cut the Israel lead to 6-3.

Ike Davis led off the top of the 7th inning with a stand up triple off the top of the wall in dead center field. He was quickly driven in by Nate Freiman who singled to left making it 7-3 Israel. Once again Israel would load the bases in the 7th and once again it was Tyler Krieger with a big hit. His RBI single made it 8-3 giving him 3 RBI in the game.

Then the flood gates opened on a squeeze bunt. Yes you read that right. Burcham laid down the bunt with the bases loaded but nobody covered first base and the throw from the pitcher went all the way down the right field line. On the play, three runs would score for Israel making it 11-3.

Both teams would add additional runs in the 9th inning. Freiman hit a 3-run homer for Israel, and Chinese Taipei would add 4 runs to make the final score 15-7.

Baker picked up the win for Israel, while Kuo took the loss.

Israel sits in a great spot to advance to Round 2. They play their final game of Round 1 on Thursday (Wednesday pm US time) against the Netherlands.

Full Box Score

Israel routes Chinese Taipei

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WBC: Israel vs Chinese Taipei Game 1 Pool A Preview


Team Israel has a short turnaround for Game 2 of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. After a late night game with host South Korea, they will turn around and play an early game Tuesday against Chinese Taipei.

Getting the start for Jerry Weinstein’s (@JWonCatching) Team Israel will be Corey Baker, a farmhand of the St. Louis Cardinals. Baker pitched last season in AA and AAA going 5-11 on the year with an ERA of 5.68. He will face a potent lineup for Chinese Taipei.

Baker’s opponent on the mound will be Chun-lin Kuo for Chinese Taipei. Kuo pitched in 2016 in the Nippon Professional Baseball league with the Seibu Lions where he went 0-3 with an ERA over 8. In two seasons in Japan, Kuo is 3-10 with an ERA of 6.00.

Players to watch:

Israel

Ike Davis – Look for the big power hitting lefty to get a start against the right handed starter. Davis is just a few seasons removed from hitting 32 homers for the New York Mets. He has struggled a bit in the past few years, but still poses a threat at the plate.

Sam Fuld – Fuld was everywhere it seemed in Game 1. Defensively he is still great in centerfield showing that with a diving save of a double off the bat of Dae-ho Lee. He will be a big part of the Israel offense moving forward if he can set the table.

Zach Borenstein – He had a big double in Game 1 off lefty starter Won-jun Chang. He could provide the power needed from the left side of the plate for Israel as they face Chinese Taipei.

Chinese Taipei

Kuo-Hui Kao – The Fubon Guardians outfielder had a huge year in 2016 in the CPBL with 34 home runs. The 31-year old who spent some time in the states getting as high as AA ball will anchor the lower half of the order.

Chih-Hsien Chiang – The third baseman for the Chinatrust Brothers will provide a potent 1-2 punch in the middle of the order for Chinese Taipei with Chih-sheng Lin. Both hit 30+ homers in 2016 with Chiang hitting .402 on the season.

Israel vs Chinese Taipei

Israel vs Chinese Taipei

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2017 World Baseball Classic Predictions


Predictions are usually not right, but they are fun and thus we are going to do some 2017 World Baseball Classic Predictions.

I’ve done predictions for many years, and very rarely do they come to fruition. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that they are fun to do and fun to talk about. So with that, I am going to go through each pool and predict what will happen. A lot of this is based on rosters, but not all of it. Some of it is just a gut feel which may help others to see why I am doing what I am doing. I do not think everyone will agree with me either. Of course, that is half the fun. So here we go.

Pool A

Pool A will consist of the following teams: South Korea (host), Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, and Israel.

My Standings:

  1. Netherlands 3-0 (50:1 odds)
  2. South Korea 2-1 (15:1 odds)
  3. Israel 1-2 (200:1 odds)
  4. Chinese Taipei 0-3 (120:1 odds)

I am probably following most predictions in that the two teams I see advancing are South Korea and the Netherlands. However, I am going to predict a few things that others may not like. First, I see the Netherlands winning this pool. I think this comes down to Game 3 on Tuesday March 7th between these two clubs, and I feel that the Dutch will outscore Korea in a shootout. The other “out on a limb” prediction I am going to make is that Israel beats Chinese Taipei, and I think they come within a few innings of advancing but fall to South Korea in their match up. They are one team that will be overlooked and under appreciated, and that is why I think they make a run. I think they will come out and shock South Korea by nearly beating them in Game 1 of pool play.

Pool B

Pool B consists of Japan (host), Cuba, China, and Australia.

  1. Japan 3-0 (3:1 odds)
  2. Cuba 2-1 (12:1 odds)
  3. Australia 1-2 (200:1 odds)
  4. China 0-3 (200:1 odds)

In Tokyo I feel Japan will dominate only having a contest with Cuba. They are the class of Pool B and a title contender. The rest of the field I think will be fun and interesting to watch. Japan is one of the favorites (3rd best odds according to Vegas Insider) with Cuba not being too far behind. I think 3rd place comes down to Australia vs China and fear that is really all they are playing for. Australia could make a run with a shock against Cuba, but I don’t see that happening. China is really the unknown here, but don’t look for them to finish higher than third.

Pool C 

Pool C consists of United States (host), Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Canada.

  1. Dominican Republic 3-0 (5:2 odds)
  2. United States 2-1 (11:5 odds)
  3. Canada 1-2 (60:1 odds)
  4. Colombia 0-3 (120:1 odds)

This is one pool I am really excited to see. The USA is favored by many to win the whole thing. I am not convinced. I think they struggle to make it out of pool play just getting past both Canada and Colombia. I see the Dominican to dominate the pool and win easily against all three opponents.

Pool D

Pool D consists of Mexico (host), Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Italy.

  1. Puerto Rico 2-1 (10:1 odds)
  2. Venezuela 2-1 (6:1 odds)
  3. Mexico 1-2 (40:1 odds)
  4. Italy 1-2 (120:1 odds)

This might be the most wide open pool. It is the only one where I am going to predict the host country doesn’t make it out of the round. I think it all comes down to the final game between Mexico and Venezuela, and I am going with Venezuela. I think Italy will shock a team (perhaps Mexico) and create havoc in the pool play, and don’t look for anyone here to go undefeated. It is going to be a wide open pool. This also might be the only pool where the first round tiebreaker game is needed, although I could see it possibly used in Pool C as well.

Round 2

Pool E in Tokyo, Japan will consist of Cuba, Netherlands, Japan (host), and South Korea.

This pool will be a great one to watch. I see Japan and the Netherlands coming out of it to advance to the semifinal round. This will be a hotly contested round, but I see it going down in the following fashion:

  1. Japan 2-1
  2. Netherlands 2-1
  3. Cuba 1-2
  4. South Korea 1-2

Pool F in San Diego will consist of USA, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico.

A lot of people are high on Puerto Rico, and rightfully so. However, I think this is where they fail to advance. There will be a lot of talent here and this will come down to the final games in the pool, and very well might need a tiebreaker game for a team to advance.

  1. Dominican Republic 2-1
  2. USA 2-1
  3. Puerto Rico 2-1
  4. Venezuela 0-3

Finals 

The Finals will take place in Los Angeles. And while I think we will see a new team garner a medal, I do not think we have a team win its first championship. Instead, I think we have a match up of the only two winners so far in Japan and the Dominican Republic.

Semifinals:

Dominican Republic 5,  Netherlands 2

Japan 3, USA 1

Championship

Japan 3, Dominican Republic 2 (11 Innings)

So there you have it. I am calling for an extra inning championship game where Japan reclaims its title. The Vegas favorite is the USA, but I see them coming up short in their quest for the title.

Now don’t get me wrong, I will be pulling for the USA in any game they play. At the same time I will be pulling for teams like Italy, Israel, and Australia to win since it will only help those countries going forward. I would love to see one of them advance to Round 2, but I just do not see it happening just yet. Italy advanced in 2013, but I feel their pool this go around will be stronger. But it is not out of the realm of possibility.

I’d love to hear what you think and who you think will win it all.

2017 World Baseball Classic Predictions

 

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Chinese Taipei Announce Roster for 2017 World Baseball Classic


Chinese Taipei has released its roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Most of the players will come from the Chinese Professional Baseball League or CPBL. There will be a few that come from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and only two from the minor leagues in the USA. The Lamigo Monkeys of the CPBL did not make any of their players available for the tournament unlike the other three teams in the league.

Chinese Taipei will play in Pool A in Seoul going up against the host South Korea, Israel, and the Netherlands. It will not be an easy road to Round 2 coming out of Seoul, but Chinese Taipei will have a lot of talent. They open up the WBC on Monday March 6th against Israel.

The guys over at CPBL English have a great post that shows every player’s stats from a year ago. You can find that by clicking here.

Chinese Taipei 2017 World Baseball Classic Roster:

Catchers
Name League Team
Kun-Sheng Lin CPBL Fubon Guardians
Da-Hong Cheng CPBL Chinatrust Brothers

 

Infielders
Name League Team
Chih-Sheng Lin CPBL Chinatrust Brothers
Chiang, Chih-Hsien CPBL Chinatrust Brothers
Chi-Hung Hsu CPBL Chinatrust Brothers
Yi-Chuan Lin CPBL Fubon Guardians
Chih-Hsiang Lin CPBL Uni Lions
Yung-Chi Chen CPBL Uni Lions
Sheng-Wei Wang CPBL Chinatrust Brothers

 

Outfielders
Name League Team
Dai-Kang Yang NPB Yomiuri Giants
Cheng-Wei Chang CPBL Chinatrust Brothers
Che-Hsuan Lin CPBL Fubon Guardians
Chin-Lung Hu CPBL Fubon Guardians
Kuo-Hui Kao CPBL Fubon Guardians
Chih-Hao Chang CPBL Chinatrust Brothers

 

Pitchers
Name League Team
Chen-Hua Lin CPBL Fubon Guardians
Ming-Chin Tsai CPBL Fubon Guardians
Fu-Te Ni CPBL Fubon Guardians
Sheng-Hsiung Huang CPBL Fubon Guardians
Wei-Lun Pan CPBL Uni Lions
Yun-Wen Chen CPBL Uni Lions
Ching-Ming Wang CPBL Uni Lions
Kuan-Yu Chen NPB Chiba Lotte Marines
Chun-Lin Kuo NPB Seibu Lions
Chia-Hao Sung NPB- Rakuten Golden Eagles
Hung-Wen Chen CPBL Chinatrust Brothers
Shao-Ching Chiang A Lake County Captains
Kuo-Hua Lo A Cedar Rapids Kernels

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New Tournament with South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan


There is a new tournament in town. Nippon Professional Baseball announced a new three-way tournament between Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. The national teams from each country will compete with one another this November 16-19 at the Tokyo Dome.

The teams will play a round-robin before the top two teams facing off with one another  in the final. It is being called the Asia Championship.

Players eligible for the tournament will be those under 24 and it is limited to players in their third year or less. Each team can also add three players that are over aged. The NPB is looking to help the young talent leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Currently the tournament is scheduled to be held this year and in 2021 in conjunction with the KBO and CBPL.

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2017 World Baseball Classic: A Look at Pool A & B


We are just seven weeks away from the first pitch in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. As teams finalize rosters, players will soon begin reporting to spring training where they will begin preparing for the  fourth installment of the tournament.

In 2013 the Dominican Republic finally dethroned the two-time champion Japanese. The Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico in the championship game 3-0.

Each of the four pools have at the very least three strong teams that will compete for the two spots in the second round. So let’s go pool by pool and see how the teams have fared in the past. Today we will look at Pool’s A and B, and tomorrow we will take a look at Pool’s C and D.

Pool A:

Israel – This is Israel’s first time participating in the World Baseball Classic. They qualified through the Brooklyn Qualifier late in 2016. The team went 3-0 in the qualifier defeating Great Britain twice, including 9-1 in the championship game, and Brazil once by a 1-0 score. Israel just missed the 2013 WBC by losing to Spain 9-7 in the championship of a qualifier. They look to surprise someone, and they will need to, to move on.

South Korea – Back for a fourth time, South Korea recently moved up to no. 3 on the WBSC World Rankings which is their highest ranking ever. They look to continue moving up the ranks with some huge wins at the WBC. Korea finished runner-up in 2009 to Japan for its highest finish so far.

Chinese Taipei – This is their fourth time in the tournament as well. Their highest finish so far has been to advance to Round 2 in 2013. They will be searching for their first medal in the tournament and will be poised to move onto Round 2 if they can get passed the Netherlands.

Netherlands – They might have been the surprise of the tournament last go around finishing fourth. This is their fourth venture into the tournament and they look to improve on their high finish last time. They will have a strong showing but will have to defeat either South Korea or Chinese Taipei to move on.

Pool B

Japan – With two titles under their belt they are the most accomplished team in the tournament by far. Ranked no. 1 in the WBSC World Rankings, Japan will look to return to the top spot they lost last time out. A third place finish in 2013 would have been seen as a good thing for any team, except maybe the two-time defending champions. Look for a strong showing from them once again.

Cuba – Once the power in international tournaments, Cuba still has the power to make a run deep in this tournament. Their highest finish was a runner-up in 2006 in the inaugural event. Since then they have not advanced out of Round 2. I look for them to once again advance to Round 2, but go no further even though they are capable.

Australia – This is the wild card team in Pool B to me. If they can get passed a good Cuba team, they can advance to Round 2, which they have never done in the past. They had to get to this point by winning a qualifier, which they did quite easily. However, they just get passed Cuba or stun Japan to advance.

China – This is China’s fourth appearance in the tourney. They have never gotten out of Round 1 in the past but have made strides and have won at least one game in the past two tournaments. They might shock someone and hurt a team’s chances to advance by picking up a win like they did to Chinese Taipei in 2009.

Check back tomorrow for a quick look at the other two pools and soon we will start going over rosters as some of them are announced to see just how far they might be able to go.

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Groups Unveiled for the U12 Baseball World Cup


The World Baseball Softball Confederation announced the groups for the upcoming U12 Baseball World Cup to take place in Taiwan later this summer. Twelve teams will compete for the title that the US will defend after winning the 2013 edition of the tournament in Taiwan.

The top four nations will compete in the event with the top two, Japan and the USA, competing in the same group for the first stage.

Group A
1. Cuba (World No. 3)
2. Chinese Taipei (No. 4)
3. South Korea (No. 8)
4. Venezuela (No. 10)
5. Brazil (No. 15)
6. Russia (No. 32)

Group B
1. Japan (No. 1)
2. USA (No. 2; Defending U12 World Champions)
3. Mexico (No. 12)
4. Australia (No. 14)
5. Nicaragua (No. 16)
6. France (No. 27)

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Baseball’s Rise Marked By New Stadiums Worldwide


Press Release IBAF.org

“Our sport has entered into a new era of globalisation.” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — A fresh wave of planned or recently completed baseball and softball construction projects is set to boost the growing popularity and globalisation of the bat-and-ball sports, as well as local economies, World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) officials reported. The latest developments follow historic growth for baseball and softball across Africa, with first-ever national stadiums erected in Ghana and Uganda in early 2014.

Now, as baseball and softball’s global footprint deepens, new facilities are being rolled out in the Bahamas, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom, in addition to new-builds in mature markets like Mexico — and South Korea and Taiwan, where the first-ever domed baseball stadiums are currently taking shape.

Bahamas 

In 2015, a new national baseball stadium in the Bahamas — Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium — will be completed and “heralds rapid expansion of the game of baseball in the Bahamas,” reads a statement posted in November on the official website of the Government of the Bahamas.

Prime Minister of the Bahamas Perry Christie told reporters at the groundbreaking ceremony:”This is a result of the extraordinary progress of baseball in the [Bahamas], without government support, sponsored by people who had an interest, who stimulated young people…to get involved in baseball. We are now talking a benefit to the economy of the Bahamas.”

Government officials in the Bahamas indicate the state-of-the-art facility “will support the nation’s current energies to fully develop its sports tourism.”

Netherlands

Europe’s first state-of-the-art baseball and softball complex just outside Amsterdam in Hoofddorp, Netherlands was inaugurated for the 2014 season and has already hosted its first international competition. As well as attracting major baseball and softball events to the region and providing a new and exciting athlete-/fan-experience, the venue’s strategic location makes it very attractive as a regional training centre to further strengthen the development of baseball and softball in the Netherlands and in Europe.

In 2013, the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association unveiled Europe’s first baseball and softball urban playground. The innovative “urban” concept was rolled out in Rotterdam and aims to take organised baseball and softball to the street, increasing the sports’ pathway and connection with young people in non-traditional settings.

New Zealand

Last month, the Auckland Council unveiled a new crown jewel baseball facility, cited by Auckland city officials as “the first of its kind in New Zealand.” Baseball New Zealand and McLeod Park Baseball Diamond have since been awarded the hosting rights of the U18 Baseball Oceania Championship, which serves as the qualifier for the 2015 U18 WBSC Baseball World Cup. Following McLeod Park’s opening ceremonies, officials in New Zealand have already been assessing the feasibility of building baseball’s first-ever national stadium in New Zealand.

Spain

The Instituto Barcelona Deportes (Barcelona Sports Institute) announced last week that it is set to begin construction on a new sports/community project, including the roll out of a new softball field next to baseball’s Estadio Carlos Perez de Rozas on Pierre de Coubertin Street in Barcelona.

“Sport is fundamental in Barcelona, so we are committed to providing the city with sports facilities necessary to ensure constant sport and of quality,” Deputy Mayor for Quality of Life, Equality and Sports, Ms. Maite Fandos, said in a statement.

South Africa

In a joint venture, the City of Cape Town and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport announced last month the unveiling of the rebuilt Bishop Lavis Softball field, which included laser-levelling of the pitch, installation of irrigation, construction of a backstop and fence, as well as installation of floodlights to hold training and competitions in the evenings.

“We are committed to providing facilities which will encourage communities to participate in sport and will nurture young talent. Sport encourages young people to live healthy and keeps them involved in wholesome activities and off the street,” the Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services, Alderman Belinda Walker, said in a statement.

United Kingdom

Following the first-ever dedicated baseball/softball stadium in the U.K. with Farnham Park Baseball and Softball Complex built last year in Slough, BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK) recently announced plans to build a new baseball and softball facility in Manchester to promote the sports and bolster participation numbers in the North of England. As growth has taken off in the U.K., including the newest facility inaugurated in Essex, John Boyd, BSUK Joint CEO, announced in November a project to expand the Farnham complex to include another international-standard baseball field.

WBSC on Baseball/Softball’s Continued Trend of Global Growth

WBSC president Riccardo Fraccari hailed the wave of initiatives as a major boost for the positioning of baseball and softball as one of the world’s leading global sports, particularly as WBSC and its partners continue working toward a return of baseball and softball in the Olympic Games.

“Our sport has entered into a new era of globalisation,” said the world governing body president. “More and more clubs, communities, cities and nations are investing in the development of baseball and softball because it is being recognised that baseball and softball are proven and popular sporting and fan activities that engage young people across both genders as well as sponsors and broadcasters, and can help to stimulate economies.

“WBSC, our National Federations, our professional league partners and the youth leagues are heavily invested in promoting our sport around the world to attract and reach — and remain relevant to — the next generation of athletes and sport fans, alike. This recognition and support from governmental institutions to help drive growth marks a significant breakthrough for our sport in terms of universality and evolving into a truly global sport.”

Based on data compiled, the WBSC estimates that over 65 million athletes practice the sport of baseball and softball in over 140 countries, with youth and females making up the majority of the participation-demographic.

Copyright © 1999-2014 IBAF . All rights reserved. Permission to cite from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to ibaf.org as the source.

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Schedule Released for 18U Baseball World Cup


The schedule for the XXVI 18U Baseball World Cup has been released. The tournament will take place in Taichung, Chinese Taipei from August 30 to September 8 as twelve teams compete for the title.

The tournament will start with a round robin on August 30 and will go through September 3. The top three teams from each pool will advance to the semifinal round where they will play another round robin. The top two teams after the semifinal round robin will play for the championship on September 8.

Last year the USA defeated Canada in the gold medal game. This year the USA will defend its title against a tough field.

Group A will consist of host Chinese Taipei, Mexico, Venezuela, Czech Republic, Japan, and host Chinese Taipei. Group B consists of defending champion USA, Korea, Italy, Australia, Colombia, and Cuba.

Host Chinese Taipei, who took home the bronze medal in 2012 in Seoul, will kick off the tournament with the first night game at Intercontinental Stadium against Mexico following the opening ceremonies.

Other opening day games include defending champion USA against 2012’s 4th place Colombia. Last year’s runner-up Canada will take on Japan early in the morning of Day 1.

Cuba holds the record for most gold medals in this event. However, despite winning 11 of 25 titles, they did not compete in the 2012 edition of the tournament. They are back looking for its first gold medal since 2004 when it was last played in Chinese Taipei.

18U Baseball World Cup Schedule

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USA 18U to Play Exhibition Games Against Chinese Taipei and Australia before 18U Baseball World Cup


The XXVI 18U Baseball World Cup starts at the end of August in Taichung, Chinese Taipei. The defending champion USA announced they will play three exhibition games before the tournament starts.

Team USA will play twice against Chinese Taipei on August 26 and 27. In their final warm up game, they will face Australia on August 28. The 18U Baseball World Cup starts on August 30 and runs through September 8.

The USA will face off with South Korea, Colombia, Italy, Cuba, and Australia during the pool play in Round 1 of the Baseball World Cup. The teams participating in the other pool will be Japan, Canada, Mexico, Czech Republic, Venezuela, and host Chinese Taipei.

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2013 Big League World Series: Latin America Scores in the Ninth to Win International Championship


EASLEY, South Carolina – The Championship Game is set for the 2013 Big League World Series after the semifinal matches on Tuesday. The top two teams in each pool (USA and International) played for a spot in the final game that will come on Wednesday night.

The International Pool Championship Game featured two very solid teams in Asia-Pacific (Chinese Taipei) and Latin America (Venezuela). Asia-Pacific entered the game undefeated after finishing 4-0 in the pool play. They gave Latin America its only loss of the tournament in a 7-1 victory early on. However, this time Latin America would get its revenge.

Latin America jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. It got the inning started with a lead off single by Alexander Lopez (1-for-4). A pinch-runner was brought in for Lopez and he was quickly moved to second base. After reaching third base on an error, Latin America had runners at the corners with no outs. Then the runner at first was thrown out stealing second. The batter at the time then hit a ground ball and the runner at third was thrown out at home.

It looked like Asia-Pacific would get out of the inning, but Latin America would mount a two-out rally. A walk put runners at first and second with the eighth and ninth hitters in the lineup coming up. Diego Paz (1-for-3) singled in the first run of the game, and EJ Lugo (1-for-3), the ninth place hitter, came through with another RBI single to give Latin America a 2-0 lead.

Asia-Pacific came back with a run of its own in the bottom of the third on a Kuo-Chen Fan double (2-for-4). It tied the game in the fifth inning on a Chen-Fei Lin double (1-for-2).

The game stayed tied with both pitching staffs having nice days. Latin America reliever Franklin Morales pitched five innings allowing just one run on one hit. He would eventually pick up the win.

Fang-Chun Yuan pitched great in relief as well for Asia-Pacific. He came on in the second inning and went 7.1 innings in relief. He didn’t give up a run until the ninth inning when Latin America would finally get to him.

With one out in the top of the ninth, Andherson Yance (2-for-3) got the Latin America rally going with a double. Two pitches later Luis Macias (1-for-4) singled up the middle to drive in Yance with the go-ahead run.

With the lead, Alvaro Lugo came on to pitch the bottom of the ninth to earn the save and send Latin America to the World Series Championship Game.

They will now face the USA Pool champion in the 2013 Big League World Series Championship on Wednesday night.

Photo Big League World Series

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USA Wins IBAF 12U Baseball World Cup over Chinese Taipei


In its first ever time to field a 12U National Team, the USA wins the IBAF 12U Baseball World Cup with an 8-1 victory over host and defending champion Chinese Taipei.

Justin Campbell was brilliant on the hill for Team USA pitching 5.2 innings allowing just one run. He gave up six hits and struck out four to earn the win for Team USA. Campbell would go on to be named the starting pitcher for the tournament all-star team.

Team USA broke it open in the second inning when the struck for seven runs. Joseph Naranjo (2-for-3) started the inning off with a solo home run, his first. They would pick up seven hits in the inning, including another hit by Naranjo who went 2-for-2 in the inning alone.

Jakob Hines (2-for-3) doubled and hit a solo home run as he drove in a pair of runs in the game. It was his third home run of the game. He too was named to the tournament all-star team as an outfielder.

Team USA gave up just six runs in the entire tournament and three of those came in their only loss to Venezuela.

Earlier in the day Japan defeated Venezuela 8-2 to win the bronze medal.

Gold Medal Game
Chinese Taipei 1, USA 8

Bronze Medal Game
Venezuela 2, Japan 8

5th Place Game
South Korea 1, Panama 6

7th Place Game
Brazil 0, Mexico 4

Final Standings

1) USA
2) Chinese Taipei
3) Japan
4) Venezuela
5) Panama
6) Korea
7) Mexico
8) Brazil
9) Italy
9) Russia
11) Czech Republic
11) Hong Kong
13) Pakistan
13) Philippines

All Star Team

Starting Pitcher: Justin Campbell (USA)
Relief Pitcher: Kevin Martin (USA)
Catcher: Gabriel Briones (USA)
First Baseman: Po-Chun Chen (TPE)
Second Baseman: Anthony Volpe (USA)
Third Baseman: Kevin Garcia (MEX)
Shortstop: Chin-Chun Chen (TPE)
Outfielder: Jakob Hines (USA)
Outfielder: Jose Aguilar (VEN)
Outfielder: Chih-Heng Chiu (TPE)

Photo Courtesy USA Baseball

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IBAF 12U Baseball World Cup: USA Faces Defending Champion Chinese Taipei in Final


The championship game is set for the IBAF 12U Baseball World Cup. The defending champion, and host, Chinese Taipei will face off with the USA at 2:00 pm on Sunday. Both teams defeated previously unbeaten teams in the semifinals to advance.

In the bronze medal game, Japan and Venezuela will face off with one another after both lost big in the semifinal round. It was both teams first loss in the tournament.

Playing for fifth place will be Panama and Korea who both won on Saturday after losing in the quarterfinal round. The seventh place game will feature Mexico and Brazil.

South Korea 8, Mexico 4

South Korea used a five-run second inning to take a big lead early on. They wouldn’t give it up as they cruised to an 8-4 victory over Mexico giving them a spot in the fifth place game.

Dong-Wook Kwon drove in four runs for South Korea going 2-for-3 on the day including a two-run double in the second inning. Korea lead off hitter Ji-Min Shin set the table for the team scoring twice and driving in another run. He went 2-for-3 with a triple, a stolen base, and a walk.

Claudio Galvez was the only hitter for Mexico with more than one hit. He went 2-for-3 with a double.

Japan 1, USA 9

Team USA used a grand slam and great pitching to give Japan its first defeat in the tournament earning a victory to the championship game on Sunday.

The USA pitching staff gave up just three hits to the powerful Japan team that went undefeated in play against its Group A opponents.

Colton Olasin hit his second home run of the tournament. This one was a grand slam in the fourth inning giving Team USA a 9-1 win. Anthony Volpe led the team with three hits. He went 3-for-4 scoring twice and driving in another run.

Chinese Taipei 8, Venezuela 0

Chinese Taipei entered the tournament as the defending champions having defeated Cuba in the gold medal game in 2011. They entered the semifinal game having lost just once, but their opponent, Venezuela, had not lost yet. That all changed after Saturday.

Chinese Taipei starter Po-Chun Chen was dominating. He allowed just two hits in 5.2 innings striking out ten to earn the win and help his team reach the gold medal game for a second straight time.

Chih-Chun Chin went 2-for-4 hitting a solo home run, his third. Chun-Hao Ma led the team with three hits (3-for-4) with three runs scored.

Panama 3, Brazil 1

Panama used timely hitting and great pitching to limit Brazil to just one run on two hits. Ariel Vega pitched a complete game allowing just one unearned run to help Panama earn a spot in the fifth place game.

Combined the two teams only had six hits but five errors. Brazil committed four errors that led to two unearned runs.

The loss for Brazil puts them in the seventh place game against Mexico.

IBAF 12U Baseball World Cup Schedule:

7th Place Game
Mexico vs Brazil

5th Place Game
Panama vs South Korea

Bronze Medal Game
Japan vs Venezuela

Gold Medal Game
USA vs Chinese Taipei

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Cuba Claims 2013 World Port Title with Win Over the Netherlands


The 2013 World Port Tournament finished up earlier today with the championship match between the world’s #1 ranked Cuba against the host Netherlands.

The two teams split their first two matches with the Dutch winning the first game 7-0 but falling in the second game 4-0. Heading into the final day of the round robin play on Saturday, three teams were sitting at 3-2 in Cuba, Netherlands, and Chinese Taipei.

Cuba defeated Curacao 11-0 to finish at 4-2 and earn a spot in the championship. Then it came down to the winner of the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei to see who would face Cuba.

The Dutch got a great performance out of Diegomar Markwell who tossed 8.2 innings of shutout ball to pitch the Netherlands into the championship game.

So it was all set. Cuba against the Netherlands for the 2013 World Port Tournament Championship.

Cuba 4, Netherlands 0

Wilber Perez was outstanding on the hill for Cuba. He pitched 5.1 innings allowing just two hits to earn the win. Rasiel Iglesias came on to finish off the game and earn the save. Iglesias tossed 3.2 innings allowing just one hit and striking out four.

The Dutch bats were silenced by Cuba’s arms, but the Cuban bats showed up. Rob Cordemans didn’t pitch bad, but he got no support. He allowed four runs, just two earned, in 7.2 innings.

Alexander Malleta had a great day at the plate for Cuba. He went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI. Andy Ibanez chipped in with three singles, which was equal to what the entire Dutch team had, going 3-for-5. Jose Miguel Fernandez and Yadiel Hernandez both scored a run and went 2-for-4.

As a team Cuba led the tournament in every major category. They had the best ERA (1.73), team batting average (.276), and fielding percentage (.991) committing only two errors.

It was the ninth gold medal for Cuba, and thirteenth overall. The Dutch earned its eleventh medal and sixth silver.

Photo Courtesy WorldPortTournament.nl

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WPT: Cuba and Chinese Taipei Pick Up Wins on Day Four; Lead Tournament


Back to a full slate of games on Wednesday as all teams played at the 2013 World Port Tournament, the defending champion Chinese Taipei faced off with Curacao who was coming off its first win. The later game was a rematch between host Netherlands and the #1 world ranked Cuba.

Game 1 of the day saw a great pitching performance from Chinese Taipei’s Yank Jhih-long who tossed seven innings to earn the win. Over those seven innings he gave up just one run on three hits while striking out eight. Chen Yu-hsun came on to pick up his second save of the tournament pitching the final inning and a third.

Curacao starter Sherwenne Antersijn didn’t pitch bad, but didn’t pitch great. He tossed 6.1 innings giving up three runs on six hits taking the loss.

Neither team did too much offensively. Chinese Taipei took advantage of a late inning error to take on two unearned runs. Kuo Ming-jen had a nice day at the plate for Chinese Taipei. The shortstop went 2-for-4 in the game, scored a run, and drove in another.

Johannes Gregorius went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI for Curacao who fell to 1-3.

Game 2 featured Cuba and the Netherlands. The Dutch had defeated Cuba the first go around 7-0, but this time Cuba would get its revenge. It got a great start from Wilber Perez who shut down the Dutch offense for 7.1 innings. He allowed just four hits, walked six, and struck out seven as Cuba went on to win 4-0.

Rasiel Iglesias pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn the save.

It was a closer game than the score indicates. It was scoreless for the first seven innings as neither side could get to the opposing team’s starter until Cuba got two runs in the top of the eighth.

Dutch stater Orlando Yntema was touched up for a pair of runs in the eighth. After cruising through seven innings, Yntema walked the lead off hitter. After a sacrifice moved the runner to second base, Yadeil Hernandez came on as a pinch-hitter. On a 2-2 pitch, Hernandez hit a single up the middle to put Cuba on the board with a RBI single.

Yntema would be relieved but his relief, Leon Boyd, would immediately give up a double driving home Hernandez. That left Yntema with a line of 7.1 IP/5 H/ 2 R and the loss.

Cuba would take on some insurance runs in the top of the ninth on a Eriel Sanchez two-run single.

2013 World Port Tournament Schedule:

Sunday June 30
Cuba 3, Curacao 0
Netherlands 7, Chinese Taipei 2

Monday July 1
Chinese Taipei 4, Curacao 2
Cuba 0, Netherlands 7

Tuesday July 2
Curacao 3, Netherlands 2 (10)

Wednesday July 3
Curacao 5, Chinese Taipei 2
Netherlands 0, Cuba 4

Thursday July 4
19:30 Cuba vs Chinese Taipei

Friday July 5
14:00 Chinese Taipei vs Cuba
19:30 Netherlands vs Curacao

Saturday July 6
14:00 Curacao vs Cuba
19:30 Chinese Taipei vs Netherlands

Sunday July 7
14:00 Championship Game

2013 World Port Tournament Standings

1. Cuba 2-1
1. Chinese Taipei 2-1
3. Netherlands 2-2
4. Curacao 1-3

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World Port Tournament Opens with Wins from Cuba and Netherlands


As Prague Baseball Week and the Swiss Alpine Cup were winding down, another big tournament was just kicking off over in Rotterdam, Netherlands – the World Port Tournament.

This  year the WPT features just four teams, but they are some of the strongest in the world including the #1 ranked team from Cuba. Also playing are Chinese Taipei, Curacao and the host Netherlands.

Even before the tournament kicked off it was drawing attention from the world of baseball as a Cuban pitcher, Odrisamer Despaigne, defected on the flight to the Netherlands as the team make a stopover in Paris. This is the third straight time a Cuban player has defected at the WPT, which is played every two years.

The 2013 edition of the WPT kicked off with Cuba facing off with Curacao with Cuba starting off with a 3-0 victory. Cuban starter Ismel Jimenez pitched great tossing eight shutout innings. He gave up just six hits, walked one, and struck out ten to pick up the win. Rasiel Iglesias came in to pick up the save with a scoreless ninth.

Andy Ibanez had a great day at the plate for Cuba. He went 3-for-4 scoring twice. Yulieski Gourriel knocked in a run and scored once going 2-for-3 with a triple.

Raydell Isabella pitched well for Curacao tossing a complete game. He gave up just three runs (one run) on seven hits.

Game 2 saw the host Netherlands take on the defending champion Chinese Taipei.

Chinese Taipei jumped out in the third inning with a pair of runs to take an early lead. But that was it. The Netherlands came back in the fourth to take the lead and they would add on for a 7-2 win.

Diegomar Markwell picked up the win for the Dutch tossing seven innings giving up just two runs on eight hits.

Markwell got offensive support from a few sources. Lead off hitter Roeland Henrique may have went hitless, but he did his job by getting on base with three walks. Stijn van der Meer followed him up in the line up by picking up a pair of hits going 2-for-5. Hitting third was Danny Rombley who also went 2-for-5 scoring a pair of runs.

All three of these hitters set the table for the cleanup man, Bryan Englehardt who came through. Englehardt went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two RBI, and two runs scored.

Lin Wang-wei had a nice day at the plate for Chinese Taipei. The left fielder went 3-for-4 with a double and a RBI. Hsieh Jung-hao took the loss lasting just four innings while allowing three runs on six hits.

2013 World Port Tournament Schedule:

Monday July 1
14:00 Chinese Taipei vs Curacao
19:30 Cuba vs Netherlands

Tuesday July 2
19:30 Curacao vs Netherlands

Wednesday July 3
14:00 Curacao vs Chinese Taipei
19:30 Netherlands vs Cuba

Thursday July 4
19:30 Cuba vs Chinese Taipei

Friday July 5
14:00 Chinese Taipei vs Cuba
19:30 Netherlands vs Curacao

Saturday July 6
14:00 Curacao vs Cuba
19:30 Chinese Taipei vs Netherlands

Sunday July 7
14:00 Championship Game

2013 World Port Tournament Standings

1. Netherlands 1-0
1. Cuba 1-0
3. Chinese Taipei 0-1
3. Curacao 0-1

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Manny Ramirez Leaves the EDA Rhinos


Manny Ramirez is leaving Taiwan.

Ramirez was playing for the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League or CPBL, but he has been taken off the active roster. He is leaving the country today, and the word is the reasson why he is leaving is because he misses his family.

The Rhinos had upped Manny’s monthly salary to $60,000 and were reportedly letting he and an uncle stay in the presidential suite of the Crown Hotel in Kaohsiung. But family has trumped his desire to stay in Taiwan. His contract ran only through the end of June, but he told the team he wished to leave a little early.

But he hasn’t retired.

So far there is no new contract for Manny. Not in Japan or the USA. He would love to get back to the MLB, but the jump in caliber of play from the CPBL to MLB is quite big.

So the Manny experiment in Taiwan is over. How did he do? He did pretty good for the CPBL.

Ramirez hit .352 in 49 games which ranked him third in the league. His 8 home runs were second in the league. The Rhinos are tied for first place right now as Manny leaves, and it remains to be scene how his absence in the middle of that lineup will effect their play.

Manny Ramirez’s CPBL Stats:

G PA RBI R H 2B 3B HR BB SO OBP AVG SLG
49 206 43 24 64 13 0 8 23 21 0.422 0.352 0.555

 

It remains to be seen if a MLB team will take a chance on Manny or if he is done for good. What do you think? Do you want your favorite team to take a chance with Manny Ramirez?

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Groups Set for IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup in Taichung


Ten of the twelve teams from the 2012 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup are back for this year’s edition. Defending champion USA will be back as will runner-up Canada in what looks to be an even stronger field this year. The event will take place in Taichung, Chinese Taipei from August 30 to September 8.

The two teams that will not make the return trip to Asia are the Netherlands and Panama. Replacing them will be Cuba and Mexico.

  • Pool A: Canada (2), Chinese Taipei (3), Japan (6), Venezuela (8), Czech Republic (12), Mexico (invited)
  • Pool B: USA (1), Colombia (4), Korea (5), Australia (9), Italy (10), Cuba (invited)

(Numbers next to countries are their standings from the 2012 18U Baseball World Cup in Seoul)

The addition of Cuba makes the tournament even more competitive this year. The island nation has won 11 of the 25 tournaments and has placed in the top three 17 times.

Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung will be the main stadium for the tournament. It has hosted many international events including the 2013 World Baseball Classic earlier this year.

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Manny Ramirez Homers, But Does He Touch Home?


Manny Ramirez is no longer playing in the big leagues. Instead he is overseas in Tawian suiting up for the EDA Rhinos, and on Tuesday night he gave the Rhinos a win with an extra inning home run.

What stood out about this home run were a few things. First of all, it took Manny 30 seconds to round the bases. Then when he finally makes it home after his triumphant trot, it looks like he misses home plate (watch at 1:27 and tell me what you think).

Next, it was the announcer. He was going crazy, just like everyone else in attendance, but this time he had been working on his English a bit. As Manny trotted around the base paths, the announcer used up what might be all the English he knows.

Anyway, the video is below. Watch it and enjoy.

By the way, he is tied for the league lead in home runs.

Manny’s Stats:

G PA RBI R H 2B 3B HR TB DP SF SB BB SO SB CS AVG SLG
15 63 13 9 19 3 0 3 31 3 0 0 4 8 0 0 0.322 0.525

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Manny Ramirez Makes His Debut in Taiwan with the EDA Rhinos


Back in January we told out that the Sinon Bulls were no more. Instead a company called E-United Group bought the franchise, renamed it the EDA Rhinos, and moved the club to Kaohsiung.

But that wasn’t the biggest splash the Rhinos have made so far. About a month ago, we reported that the Rhinos have signed Manny RamirezOn Wednesday night in Taiwan, Manny got his first action in the Chinese Professional Baseball League as a member of the EDA Rhinos.

Ramirez batted clean-up and went 2-for-6 in a 9-8, 12-inning loss to the Brother Elephants. But in the end the score wasn’t what really mattered.

The team set the attendance record with 20,000 fans showing up. I am not sure if this was just for this stadium or for the CPBL, but the former record was in 2004 with 18,342.

Manny’s two hits were both singles, but they differed greatly. In his second at-bat in the bottom of the second inning, Manny lined a breaking ball over the third baseman into left field for a single. That was his first hit for the Rhinos and after the play the ball was taken out of play.

Manny came back up in the bottom of the fourth inning with two outs and nobody on. This time he took a fastball the other way lining a single to right field. Video of both hits are below.

In his other at-bats Manny struck out, flew out to left field, and grounded out twice.

But it didn’t matter. Fans were out in force to support the biggest player ever to hit the island and play in the CPBL. Signs were made, fake dreads were worn, and there was even a case of mistaken identity by one fan who had a picture of Johnny Cueto and his dreads on a poster.

Manny  Ramirez Taiwan EDA Rhinos

 

EDA Rhinos Manny  Ramirez Taiwan

This is a big step for the CPBL. It is a small league of only four teams, but it is highly competitive often including former MLB players on the teams. Taiwan is also having a sort of reinvention of baseball on the island.

The island just hosted the first round of the World Baseball Classic where it saw its hometown team Chinese Taipei advance to the second round. It also saw the biggest crowd for a baseball game in its history when 23,431 fans showed up to watch Korea take on Chinese Taipei.

The league has had its share of hard times and scandals, but now it is on the international stage with a huge star like Manny Ramirez playing. I know they want to show pride in their team and country and put on a good display of baseball, which I think they will. No matter what happens with Manny we know it’s going to be an interesting ride.

Manny’s first hit.

Manny’s second hit.

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Chinese Taipei: CPBL Season Kicks off with a Lamigo Monkeys Win


After a nice run in the World Baseball Classic by the Chinese Taipei team, the Chinese Professional Baseball League kicked off on Saturday with a rematch of the 2012 championship series.

In front of nearly 18,000 fans, the Lamigo Monkeys held off a late comeback by the Uni-President Lions 10-8 at Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium. The hitters dominated the the pitchers from the get go.

The Lions jumped out in the first inning with a run, but the lead didn’t last long. The Monkeys came back in the bottom of the second with an RBI double from Yu The-long and a RBI single fromTsan Chih-yao. Both came off Lions starter Pan Wei-luen.

Chen Guan-ren singled to lead off the third for Lamigo and came around to score on a Lin Chih-sheng RBI double giving the Monkeys a 3-1 lead. But as the early see-saw battle went, the Lions came back with a run of its own to cut the lead to 3-2.

The primates struck again in the bottom of the fifth. This time it was off the bat of Lin Hong-yu who hit a two-run home run off of Lion’s starter Pan.

The story of the game seemed to be the repeated Lions comebacks. However, after leading 1-0 they were never able to take the lead again. And in the top of the seventh they staged another rally.

A Chen Yung-chi triple cut the lead to one as the Lions scored twice in the top of the seventh. But just as the Lions would pull to within striking distance, the Monkeys would score again.

This time it was off the bat of Chen Chin-fong who blasted a two-run home run off of Lions reliever Lee Fong-hua pushing the lead to three. Three more runs in the bottom of the eighth put the game out of reach and the Monkeys’ lead to 10-4.

The Lions once again tried to make a comeback, but as they did all game long fell short again. Monkeys’ closer Hsu Ming-jeh gave up four runs before giving way to rookie reliever Tseng-Tsong-hsuan. Tseng came in and struck out two of the three hitters he faced to end the rally and the game.

Monkeys starter, and former Long Island Duck, Mike Loree picked up the win tossing 6.1 innings giving up four runs on eight hits. Loree spend the 2012 season with Long Island after spending a few years in the San Francisco Giants minor league system.

Pan Wei-luen took the loss for the Lions giving up five runs in five innings.

CPBL Standings:

1. Lamigo Monkeys 1-0

2. Brother Elephants 0-0

3. EDA Rhinos 0-0

4. Uni-President Lions 0-1

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WBC: Cuba Crushes Chinese Taipei


Cuba Overpowers Chinese Taipei, 14-0

By Gabriel Fidler (@gabrielfidler)

Cuba used a prodigious display of power to eliminate Chinese Taipei from the second round of the World Baseball Classic, 14-0. The mercy rule victory featured four home runs and two doubles among 12 hits, and Cuba is one win away from punching their ticket to the semifinals in San Francisco.

Overshadowed in the hitting clinic was the dominance of Danny Betancourt, who threw six shutout innings. The right-hander scattered three hits and two walks, but retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced. Betancourt sent three down on strikes.

Frederich Cepeda got Cuba started on the right foot. After a José Fernández single in the first, Cepeda blasted a two-run homer to right centre. Chinese Taipei’s starter, Ching-Lung Lo, would keep the deficit at two through three innings.

Chinese Taipei had its chances in the early innings. Their best chance to score in the game came in the second. Betancourt struggled to find the zone in the first two frames, and Yung-Chi Chen and Chih-Kang Kao both singled in the second.  Chinese Taipei was unable to capitalise, and Betancourt did not let them get another runner to second.

With Betancourt keeping the momentum in Cuba’s favour, a four-run fourth ended Chinese Taipei’s chances of a comeback against the No. 1 team in the world. Cepeda walked to start off the inning and went to third on a bunt hit by slugger José Abreu. Abreu moved to second after the  Chinese Taipei reliever threw the bunt wildly.

Alfredo Despaigne seized the opportunity to drive in a run with a single to centre before Yasmany Tomás unloaded the bases on three-run homer to right centre. The next two batters would reach as well, but Cuba settled for four runs after putting the first six men aboard.

Yu-Chin Lin looked like he might keep the game close, coming in after the Tomás longball and getting Cepeda, Abreu, and Despaigne 1-2-3 in the fifth. After a strikeout to Tomás to begin the sixth, however, the wheels fell off for Lin and Chinese Taipei.

Frank Morejon and Bárbaro Arruebarruena followed with singles into the left field corner, both of whom were robbed of extra bases by Dai-Kang Yang’s strong throws. After a hit batter, Yuliesky Gourriel stroked a single to centre, scoring one and ending Lin’s night.

Fernández continued his red-hot approach at the plate with a bases-clearing double into the right field corner, and it was 10-0 Cuba. A double by Cepeda would add on another run, but Cuba was still flexing its muscles.

Abreu clouted a tape measure shot to dead centre to score Cepeda. The blast travelled well over 400 feet, nearly scraping the ceiling in the Tokyo Dome. Despaigne attempted to equal the feat a batter later, crushing a four-bagger to left-centre that travelled almost as far.

After putting eight straight men on base and scoring all of them, Cuba finally relented, with 18-year old reliever Jen-Ho Tseng getting two quick outs to end the shellacking. It was the fifth pitcher of the day for  Chinese Taipei. Had another run scored, the game would have ended on another version of the mercy rule.

Norberto González and Raicel Iglesías disposed of a deflated  Chinese Taipei side in the seventh. Chen had his second hit in the game, which was their first safety since the second inning. Chinese Taipei had only six baserunners in the contest.

Cuba, meanwhile, went 12-for-29 as a team. They left only three runners on base, hitting .667 with runners in scoring position. Fernández, Cepeda, Abreu, and Despaigne all had a brace of hits. Cepeda scored three and drove in as many, tying Fernández for the team lead in RBI.

Betancourt earned his second win of the WBC and has now thrown 10 2/3 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts and a 0.60 WHIP. González has hurled four scoreless frames in relief.

After earning the win, Cuba will await their next matchup, which will take place on Mar. 11 at 11 a.m. GMT. They will face the loser of the Netherlands and Japan on Mar. 10 and the winner of the game will earn a guaranteed place in the semifinals.

Chinese Taipei could not recover from its heart-breaking loss to Japan the night before and finishes its best-ever performance in the WBC with a 5-3 record. They are now 6-7 in three World Baseball Classics, but have earned a spot in the 2017 tournament after having to qualify this time around.

Stay tuned for all your WBC news and analysis.

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WBC: Japan Defeats Chinese Taipei in 10 Inning Thriller


Persistent Japan Rallies By Chinese Taipei in 10, 4-3

By Gabriel Fidler (@gabrielfidler)

Third-ranked Japan avoided an embarrassing upset with three late rallies, beaten a heartbroken Chinese Taipei side in 10 innings, 4-3. Chinese Taipei led the ballgame until the eighth innings and did not trail until the final frame, but could not piece together enough offence in the World Baseball Classic thriller.

Both teams threatened in the first two frames, but Chinese Taipei claimed the early advantage with a run in the third inning. Yen-Wen Kuo jumpstarted the offence with a double to centre off Atsushi Nomi and was sacrificed to third.

Nomi then walked a batter and hit another to load the bases, and surrendered a free pass to Szu-Chih Chou to drive in Kuo. Nomi’s night was finished after 2 2/3. He gave up three hits and a pair of walks, striking out two.

Meanwhile, Chien-Ming Wang looked his vintage self against third-ranked Japan. Using a devastating sinker and some inspired defence, he worked around hits through six scoreless frames. Only one hit went for extra bases, a double into the corner in right by Yoshio Itoi in the fourth.

Chinese Taipei put another run on the board in the fifth. Che-Hsuan Lin ripped a double down the right field line and Cheng-Ming Peng singled him home. With Japan scuffling, tt appeared the two-run advantage would be enough for Wang and the Chinese Taipei bullpen.

Masahiro Tanaka was the third pitcher out of the ‘pen for manager Koji Yamamoto. He looked the staff ace he was expected to be in the sixth and seventh frames, striking out four. He set all six batters down in those two innings, mixing an unhittable split-finger and mid-90s/low-150s fastball.

The Samurai would stun a coasting Chinese Taipei in the eighth with a tenacious rally. Hirokazu Ibata started the frame with one of his three hits and moved to third on a Seiichi Uchikawa bouncer into the right field gap. Shinnosuke Abe, Japan’s cleanup hitter, got his first hit of the Classic in a big way, driving in Ibata with a single.

Uchikawa was out on a poorly executed bunt by Itoi, but Hayato Sakamoto broke out of his 2-for-15 slump with a run-scoring single to tie the contest. Chinese Taipei got out of the inning, but were clearly stunned at the turn of events.

The shock wore off quickly for Peng and Chih-Sheng Lin. Peng laced a safety to right to lead off, and Lind drove him to third with a two-bagger against the suddenly floundering Tanaka. Chou drove in Peng to put Chinese Taipei up again, 3-2, and the squad looked to have regained their momentum as Tanaka exited.

A grounder by Chih-Kang Kao turned into a two-base fielder’s choice as Lin got hung up going home, but avoided the tag long enough to keep runners at second and third. With only one out, reliever Tetsuya Yamaguchi buckled down and induced a popout before giving way to Kazuhisa Makita, who would end the rally.

Chinese Taipei once again held the lead and had their closer, Hung-Wen Chen on the hill. Chen got the first out, but walked Takashi Toritani, who swiped second base. Ibata stepped up with two outs and delievered another hit, scoring Toritani from second. That was all for Japan, but Chinese Taipei once more needed a rally.

A single by Yi-Chuan Lin in the bottom of the ninth was a promising start, but Makita made an impressive dive in front of the mound to snare a blooped bunt, and Che-Hsuan Lin was forced to sacrifice with one out instead of none. Peng walked to put runners on the corners, but Makita struck out cleanup hitter Chih-Sheng Lin to send the game to extra innings.

Japan once more had its rally hats working. Ryoji Aikawa led off with a single and advanced to second on a walk. A sacrifice by Sakamoto put two runners in scoring position and Sho Nakata, who was 0-for-4, crushed a ball to the warning track in left. The ball was caught on the warning track, but the go-ahead run scored to give the home team, batting first against pool winners Chinese Taipei, the lead for the first time.

Toshiya Sugiuchi entered for the bottom of the tenth, and gave up back-to-back hits with one out, but induced a twin killing to deliver an improbable victory for the Samurai.

Japan scored their four runs on 13 hits, only Itoi’s going for extra bases. Ibata had three hits to lead the squad, while Uchikawa and Sakamoto each had a brace. Japan left 10 runners on base, but hit a respectable .286 with runners in scoring position and struck out only twice.

Chinese Taipei had 11 knocks shared among nine batters. Peng and Chien-Ming Chang were the only hitters with a pair of safeties. A big difference in the game was the 11 strikeouts rung up on Chinese Taipei hitters, who hit .200 with baserunners on second or third.

Makita earned the win thanks to his own sacrificial defending, staying in the game despite landing awkwardly. He was one of seven pitchers to toe the rubber, with Sugiuchi earning the save.

Chen took the loss by allowing two runs in 1 1/3, walking two and giving up two hits. Wang pitched well enough for the victory, but the bullpen gave up four runs in four innings in relief and registered only one strikeout.

The victory will give Japan a day of rest before taking on the seventh-ranked Netherlands, who upset top-rated Cuba earlier in the day. First pitch is at 11 a.m. GMT on Mar. 10. No. 5 Chinese Taipei will have to regroup in only a few hours before taking on the top-rated team in the world, with the loser going home. The showdown commences at 10 a.m. GMT on Mar. 9.

Stay tuned for WBC results, recaps, and analysis.

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Polls

Who will win the 2017 World Baseball Classic?

  • Puerto Rico (31%, 27 Votes)
  • Dominican Republic (13%, 11 Votes)
  • USA (13%, 11 Votes)
  • Mexico (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Other (8%, 7 Votes)
  • Cuba (8%, 7 Votes)
  • Venezuela (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Netherlands (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Japan (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Chinese Taipei (1%, 1 Votes)
  • South Korea (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Canada (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 88

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