WBC: Chinese Taipei bang up Dutch 8-3 in Pool B


Taichung. In the battle of undefeated teams, Chinese Taipei banged up the Netherlands 8-3 in Day 2 action of WBC Pool B in Taichung City.

By Jason Pan at Taichung Intercontinental Stadium, Chinese Taipei

Taichung. In the battle of undefeated teams, Chinese Taipei banged up the Netherlands 8-3 in Day 2 action of WBC Pool B in Taichung City.

The hosts Chinese Taipei dusted up three Dutch pitchers with 7 hits, including one home run and two doubles, while the visitors only got one hit in the game at the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium on Sunday.

Each team came into this game with victory in the openers the previous day – Chinese Taipei’s 4-1 triumph over Australia in the afternoon, and the stunning 5-0 shutout win for the Netherlands over South Korea in the evening affair.

Through the early going, it was the Dutch team who had the upper hand.   Taking advantage of the shaky start by Taiwanese pitcher Wang Yao-Lin (minor leaguer with Chicago Cubs), the Dutch received three walks in the 2nd inning.

Catcher Ricardo Dashenko capped a three-run rally with an RBI-single to drive in two runs for the Oranje to take a 3-0 lead.

Pitcher Wang was taken out in the inning, and replaced by Pan Wei-Lun (“Du Du”), a 10-year veteran and the ace for CPBL’s Uni-President Lions team.

Chinese Taipei replied with one run on 2 hits and a walk, to make it 3-1 in their bottom half of the inning.

In the pivotal 4th frame, the hosts rattled Dutch starter Tom Stuifbergen (minor leaguer with Minnesota Twins)  by piling on 4 runs on 3 walks and 2 hits, thus going in front 5-3.

Stuifbergen was then replaced by Shairon Martis (also in Twins minors team) on the mound for the Netherlands.

However, the momentum had shifted to the Chinese Taipei side in their scoring 3 more runs against Martis in the 6th inning, for the 8-3 eventual outcome.  The big blow there was a two-run homer by outfielder Yang Dai-Kang, who plays for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan.

On the other hand, the Dutch hitters had a dreadful day against Taiwanese pitching. Though they received 4 walks, but managed only get the lone hit in the game, the RBI-single by Dashenko.

Chinese Taipei used 7 pitchers, and again with the “Double-Insurance” relievers of lefty Hong Chih-Kuo and right-hander Chen Hung-Wen coming in for the second consecutive day to shut the door in the final two innings.

The victory sent the capacity 20,000 Taiwanese fans at the ballpark into a wild celebration.

Now with two wins, the Chinese Taipei team has a very good chance as one of the two top finishers in Pool B, for advancing into WBC Round 2 at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, starting on March 8.

Pan Wei-Lun (“Du Du”), 2nd pitcher for the hosts, took the winning pitcher honor.

The experienced right-hander came in to stop the Oranje from further scoring in the 2nd frame, and shut down opposition batters rest of the way.   He only gave up one hit, to go with one walk and one hit-batsman through 4 and 2/3 scoreless innings.

Stuifbergen was the losing pitcher, charged with 4 hits and 4 walks, to go with one strikeout.

Chinese Taipei manager Hsieh Chang-Heng said key to the game as the steady performance by Pan Wei-Lun for changing the momentum swing and holding down the Dutch offense.

For his important role, Pan Wei-Lun said, “I aimed for the corners and edges of the strike zone, trying not to give them any good pitches.  If the Dutch players hit the ball, I have the confidence to let my teammates on defense to do their job.”

Dutch skipper Hensley Meulens admitted, “They played better than us today.”

He then explained in the post-game press briefing that the  previous evening encounter against South Korea had taken a big toll on his players.   That contest started at 7:40 pm and lasted late into the night to finish at just past 11 pm local time.

“That was a long game, and it went on pretty late.  We only got a little rest, and had go to the stadium in the morning for the game preparation,” noted  Meulens, as the match-up against Chinese Taipei commenced at 2:40 pm in the afternoon.

For the next game in Pool B,  it’s  a must-win situation to stay alive as Korea takes on Australia (both with one loss) on Monday for the 6:30 pm (local time) start.

Results Pool B:

Saturday, March 2:
Netherlands 5 – Korea 0
Chinese Taipei 4 – Australia 1
Sunday, March 3:
Chinese Taipei 8 – Netherlands 3

Photo: World Baseball Classic, Inc.