Chinese Taipei open IV WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup with comeback win against Colombia

Chinese Taipei open IV WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup with comeback win against Colombia
13/10/2022
Colombia took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth. The hosts roared back with a five-run sixth. "I want to express my deep gratitude to our hosts, CTBA, and its President, Jeffrey Koo Jr," said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari during the opening ceremony. "We feel at home here."

Chinese Taipei defeated Colombia, 6-2, in the first game of the IV WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup.

The game at Tianmu Baseball Stadium in Taipei City is the first of 50 games in the tournament with the other 10 teams in action for the first time on Friday.

With hosts Chinese Taipei and Colombia - the previous edition's bronze medallists - strong candidates for the Super Round in Group A, together with defending World Champions Venezuela and Japan, it was Colombia who got off to the better start, earning a 2-1 lead against submarine right-hander Yu-Hung Chen, the best pitcher of the III U-23 Baseball World Cup, and took it into the sixth.

Their bullpen and defence couldn't support a solid start by Santiago Florez, who left with the lead after five. Two relievers couldn't prevent a five-run big inning.

"I asked my players to slow down," said Chinese Taipei manager Hsun Chen Hsieh to the local press. "I told them we still had our chances despite trailing in the sixth. We knew well both their relievers. I was confident we could get to them."

The media praised Hsieh for the bold move that brought pinch hitter Cing Ran Ji into the game.

"I just wanted an aggressive hitter at that moment of the game," commented Hsieh.

Chinese Taipei took the lead in the bottom of the second. The first run of the tournament was scored on a base hit by right fielder Wei Chieh Lo.

Colombia reversed the lead in the top of the fifth on a two-RBI double by shortstop Hector Martinez off ace starter Yu-Hung Chen.

Yan Cheng Wang relieved Chen and closed the inning.

Chinese Taipei used a defensive error to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth against reliever Carlos De Avila.

Pinch-hitter Cing Ran Ji singled against Jean Carlos Herrera, the second reliever of the inning, to put Chinese Taipei ahead.

On a double steal attempt, Colombia's catcher Jair Alonso threw the ball over third base and allowed Chinese Taipei to extend the lead to 6-2.

Flame thrower Zhong Ao Zhuang Chen struck out the side in the top of the seventh.

Opening Ceremony

Prior to the tournament's opening game, WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari welcomed the 12 participating teams and the guests of honour during the Opening Ceremony.

"I want to express my deep gratitude to our hosts, CTBA, and its President, Jeffrey Koo Jr., who provided a home to so many WBSC events, including the WBSC Congress earlier this year in July," said Fraccari. "We feel at home here, especially in the spectacular stadiums where we play, and CPBL plays its regular season. Thank you for making all of this possible."