Chinese Taipei is the new U-12 Baseball World Champion. The hosts defeated World Number 1 Japan, 4-0, in front of a packed house in Tainan.
Starting pitcher Chen Kai Sheng was the hero of the night. He shut out Japan for 5 innings, despite going through defensive flaws and went 2 for 3, including a solo homer in the top of the sixth.
“I am really excited,” said Chen Kai Sheng through an interpreter at the end of the game “It is the very first championship I win since I started playing baseball two years ago.”
What did you think, when you saw errors happen behind you? “I was scared, but fortunately enough, everything ended well for us.”
Chen Kai Sheng was named the MVP of the U-12 Baseball World Cup.
Chen Kai Sheng allowed only three hits and didn’t walk a batter. Still he had to come out of some tough situations.
He allowed back to back singles to right fielder Shintaro Sakamoto and second baseman Kazuki Takahata in the bottom of the third, but got out of it striking out third baseman Haru Kataoka.
In the bottom of the fifth, a couple of defensive errors put Sakamoto at second and left fielder Kouta Kawashita at third. Chen got to the end of the inning with two strikeouts.
Chinese Taipei got to Japan’s starter Sakuma Aoki in the top of the third. Center fielder Yu Yan Cheng singled-in the first run and sent Aoki to the showers. Catcher Jang Ting Yi welcomed reliever Kotaro Kawagoe with a single up the middle that made it 2-0.
Chen Kai Sheng himself scored the other two runs.
In the top of the third the starting pitcher singled, reached third on a wild pitch and a ground-out. He scored on a sacrifice fly to center by shortstop Yeh Hung Jen.
In the top of the sixth Chen homered on the first pitch from reliever Kyonosuke Hayashi.
“I’m always looking for good pitches. I saw one, I hit it,” commented Chen.
Long time manager Lee Kuo Chiang, a former semi-pro player, said through an interpreter: “Winning a World Championship at home is the thing that can make a sportsman truly happy. I am really excited.”
“What Chen Kai Sheng did was unbelieveable. I have no words to say how much I respect his performance.”
Lin Cheng Yu took care of the final three outs of the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Championship 2019.