Venezuela came from behind to beat, 4-3, Chinese Taipei and qualify for the third-place game of the U-23 Baseball World Cup. Pinch hitter Carlos Machado in the seventh and Yoel Romero in the eighth came up with the two-out big hits for the win.
Chinese Taipei starter Wei Shuo Cheng dominated Venezuela’s line up for six innings, allowing only two hits. Georvic Perez and Joscar Alvarez both singled in the bottom of the third, but Perez became the first out at third base. Venezuela, then trailing 3-0, scored in the frame their first run on a throwing error by Chinese Taipei catcher.
Chinese Taipei had wasted no time in getting to Venezuela starter Jose Rodriguez, who allowed three runs on four hits in the top of the third before leaving for Yosmer Solorzano. The reliever will prove a huge factor for Venezuela. He will earn the win, going 5.1 innings and allowing only two hits.
In the crucial bottom half of the seventh, Anthony Concepcion singled with one out and Leandro Cedeño walked. With two outs, Venezuela executed a double steal. Manager Carlos Moya sent pinch hitter Carlos Machado to bat for designated hitter Oscar Campos. Machado worked the count full, then singled to center field to tie the game.
“I was looking for a change-up,” said Carlos Machado through an interpreter at the end of the game “he threw me that change up and I got that hit. We want to keep going tomorrow, playing our pelota Caribe and showing the world what we are capable of.”
In the bottom of the eighth Chinese Taipei gave the ball to Chun Chang Su. Yonny Hernandez reached on an error and then stole second. With two outs and a two-strike count, Yoel Romero fouled off a pitch and drove the next in the gap to left center for and RBI double.
Luis Garcia took the mound with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and completed a four-out save in spectacular fashion. With one out and Yang Jie En on first, Garcia struck out Chu Hsiang Ling. Yang Jie En took off for second and catcher Georvic Perez threw him out to finalize the double play and end the game.
Venezuela will know the other team competing for a bronze medal after the night game between Mexico and Korea.