USA knocks out defending U-12 World Champions Chinese Taipei, will play in Sunday's Final against Venezuela

USA knocks out defending U-12 World Champions Chinese Taipei, will play in Sunday's Final against Venezuela
05/08/2022
USA's win also booked Venezuela's ticket into Sunday's Final. The two will play Saturday to determine who will be the home team.

The United States fought hard and beat Chinese Taipei at the end of a drama, 8-6.

Chinese Taipei didn't need a hit to score the go-ahead run against USA starter Dylan Mercado in the first inning. First baseman Po Yuan Chuang scored on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Tzu Chiao Ou.

In the bottom of the first, with one out, Anthony Frausto struck out but reached on the wild pitch. Colin Anderson got the first game hit when he turned starter Sheng Zhi's first offering into a towering home run to left field.

The rain forced the umpiring crew to delay the game.

Play resumed one hour later, and Chinese Taipei took the lead back. Po Yuan Chang doubled to the right to lead off the third. Relief pitcher Rui Xin Chen drove Marcado's first pitch beyond the left field wall for a two-run homer that reversed the lead.

With Chinese Taipei leading 4-2, the US loaded the bases for Anthony Frausto in the bottom of the fourth. The first baseman drove reliever Tzu Chia Ou's fourth pitch over the fence in right-center for a grand slam that put the US ahead, 6-4.

It was far from being over. Cristian Matos relieved Mercado in the top of the fifth but left after allowing two walks. New pitcher Levi Kerr couldn't get an out on a comebacker to the mound, allowing the fifth run. Then gave up the tying run on a wild pitch.

The US won it in the bottom of the fifth. Third baseman Jordan Leon singled off Chen Yu En, the fourth Chinese Taipei pitcher. Manager Chau Jung Lai used two more relievers to get through the inning, but the move couldn prevent the go-ahead runs.

The United States used the small ball to set up things for second baseman Maximus Villalva, who put them ahead with a base hit. Another run scored as center fielder Jonah Saken grounded out.

Levi Kerr got the three final outs and the win.

The United States is now qualified for Sunday's World Championship Game on Sunday and will face Venezuela (3-1) on Saturday, which will determine who will be the home team in the Final. Chinese Taipei (2-2) will play an elimination game against Korea (1-3) for a potential bronze medal run.