WBC: Chinese Taipei defeats Australia 4-1 for WBC opener in Taichung

02/03/2013

The first win in the 2013 World Baseball Classic goes to Chinese Taipei. They defeated Australia 4-1 in round 1 action from Taichung City on Saturday (March 2).

By Jason Pan at Taichung Intercontinental Stadium, Chinese Taipei

The first win in the 2013 World Baseball Classic goes to Chinese Taipei. They defeated Australia 4-1 in round 1 action from Taichung City on Saturday (March 2).

For the second game of round 1 in Taichung (hosted by Chinese Taipei), the Netherlands will take on South Korea on Saturday evening (local time).

Chinese Taipei team captain Peng Cheng-Min (“Cha Cha”) paced the offense for the host, with an RBI single in the first inning to open the scoring.

For good measure, Peng blasted a solo homer, his trademark opposite-field shot to the right field, for the insurance run in the fifth inning.

In addition, the hosts got 2 runs in the third inning, on 2 hits and 2 walks, to lead 4-0 midway through the game.

Aussie third baseman Stefan Welch teed off against Chinese Taipei second pitcher lefty Yang Yao-Hsun for a home run in the 7th inning, to complete the 4-1 game result.

It was a rousing start to the WBC round 1 opener at the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium, with the capacity crowd of 20,000 home fans in boisterous cheering throughout the proceeding.

Chinese Taipei pitchers confounded Australian batters for most of the way, behind six innings of strong pitching by former major league starter Chien-Ming Wang.

The sinkerball pitcher, formerly with NY Yankees and Washington Nationals, got the win in scattering six hits on two strikeouts and no walks through six innings.

He left the game with a 4-0 lead, for relievers to wrap things up.  Yang, who gave up the solo homer to Welch, tossed the seventh inning.

He was followed by the former LA Dodger fireballer Hong-Chih Kuo, and Chen Hung-Wen (was in Chicago Cubs minor organization) as both threw for one inning each.

Australian starter Chris Oxspring was charged with 3 earned runs on 5 hits and a walk, through 2 and 2/3 innings. Six other pitchers followed, after Oxspring departed in the third inning.

For the game total, the Australian batters finished the game with 5 hits, 6 strikeouts, and no walks. Chinese Taipei had total of 10 hits and 4 walks for the 4 runs.

In the post-game interview, Australian manager Jon Deeble said, “We played a good game, (but) it has been their day. If we keep doing what we are doing, I’ve got a lot of confidence going into the next game.”

He gave credit to the victors, “Wang threw the ball well.  He had the command of fastball.  They also had other good pitchers.  We saw lots of good pitching today.”

For the winning Taiwanese starter Chien-Ming Wang, he thanked for the teammates’ run support, and also their help on defense, as Chinese Taipei turned three double-plays to snuff out scoring threats by Aussie players in the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th innings.

He said, “It felt great in coming back to Taiwan and help our national team to win.  I hope we will have more good performance in the next two games.”

The WBC tournament, which is officially sanctioned by IBAF, is being played in Taichung (Chinese Taipei), Fukuoka (Japan), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Phoenix (USA), Tokyo (Japan), Miami (USA), and San Francisco (USA).