Japan, Chinese Taipei to meet in Final of WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup on Sunday, millions expected to watch

TAINAN, Taiwan -- 3 August 2019 -- The youth National Baseball Teams of Japan and Chinese Taipei will meet in the Final of the V WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup® at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday at the 8,000-seat Asia-Pacific International Baseball Stadium. Japan, winner of the Super Round, will be the home team.

Trailing 6-0, Chinese Taipei came from behind thanks to a strong offensive performance and defeated Venezuela 14-6. A three-run home run by Kuo Chen An was the turning point.

Jiang Ting Yi and catcher Cyuan Ruei were off a bad start for the hosts. One run scored on a passed ball and one scored on a wild pitch. Designated hitter Yoneiker Lugo then got to Jiang with a double off the wall in right field to extend Venezuela’s lead to 3-0.

Things didn’t improve for the hosts with reliever Chen Yu An on the mound. The newcomer could get only one out and allowed two more runs on a single by catcher Johan Fernandez.
The ball then went to Yu Yan Cheng who allowed one more run on a wild pitch. Yu eventually got out of a bases-loaded jam when he struck out centre fielder Franklyn Rojas.

Chinese Taipei got to Venezuela’s starter Rainner Godoy in the bottom of the third. Slugging third baseman Huang Tien Szu singled to put the first run on the scoreboard and right fielder Kuo Chen An launched a three-run homer to make it a two-run game.

Venezuela gave the call to Yeferson Gonzalez. The reliever walked Chen Kai Sheng and then balked him to second. That was all for Gonzalez and the ball went to Kennew Blanco. He also got started with a walk and then allowed a two-RBI double to second baseman Wu Yi Rui that tied the game.

Blanco got out of the inning, but in the bottom of the fourth loaded the bases on two walks and a defensive error. Venezuela gave the call to Sander Trujillo who also got started with a walk, thus giving the first lead of the night to Chinese Taipei. Trujillo got the first out on strikes, then was hurt by another defensive error on a grounder by left fielder Chen Kai Sheng. Pitcher Yu Yan Cheng then doubled in the gap to left-centre to make it 10-6 and send Trujillo to the showers.

Christopher Alvarado took the mound but couldn’t stop Chinese Taipei. A double by centre fielder Chiang Tsung Chun and a groundout added four more runs.

Yu Yan Cheng, the third pitcher for Chinese Taipei, earned the win pitching four innings and allowing only two hits.

Japan earned the right to play for the title of U-12 Baseball World Champion with a thrilling 8-7 extra-inning victory against Korea.
The game was postponed on Friday because of rain with Korea leading 4-1. Japan’s Sakuma Aoki bunted the winning run to third. The run scored on a chopper to first by Kouta Kawashita.
Aoki, the sixth Japanese pitcher of the game, also earned the win.

Korea looked in control Friday, before a tropical storm sent everybody back to the dugouts. Lim Hogil was on the mound when the game was postponed and he took the mound as the game resumed. He had just allowed two walks and a two-RBI single that had costed Korea the game against Cuba.

Japan got to Lim with a two-RBI double by right fielder Shintaro Sakamoto that made it a one-run game in the bottom of the fourth.

Korea added a run on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth, but in the bottom half of the frame Japan came right back to send the game to extra innings. A bases-loaded two-run hit by left fielder Shinsuke Kuwamoto tied the game.

Korea took advantage of the WBSC international tie break rule (runners at first and second to start any at-bat) and of a couple of errors to take back the lead in the top of the seventh.

Korea’s relief pitcher You Yongiun entered the bottom of the sixth with a wild pitch that advanced the tie-break rule runners. Japan’s first baseman Shosei Takahashi made him pay with a base hit that scored the tying runs. Shortstop Imai Ren followed with another single. Sakuma Aoki bunted for the base hit and Kouta Kawashita gave Japan the win as he put the ball in play to first base. The throw home by Yoo Yongjae was not in time and Japan earned a spot in the U-12 Baseball World Cup final for the first time ever.