Chinese Taipei shuts out Germany in Group A opener of U-23 Baseball World Cup

Chinese Taipei shuts out Germany in Group A opener of U-23 Baseball World Cup
Germany got the same number of hits but couldn't deliver with runners on base. Ace Zhuang-Chen Zhong-Ao earned the win.

World No. 3 Chinese Taipei, the highest-ranked team in Group A, took care of business on Thursday in Ciudad Obregon, beating No. 18 Germany 7-0 in the first game of Group A play.

Chinese Taipei opened the scoring in the second inning, plating two runs on back-to-back groundouts to second base, and added four more runs in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach.

Chinese Taipei’s twenty-one-year-old starter, Zhuang-Chen Zhong-Ao, fired five sparkling innings, striking out nine without walking a batter.  He allowed six hits, and the bullpen was able to preserve the shutout while allowing just one more hit. 

"It was my first international game," said Zhuang-Chen after the game. "I needed to adapt to the pace of the game in the first couple of innings. From the third, I felt fine."

In all, Chinese Taipei pitchers struck out twelve batters on the day.

Chinese Taipei’s offense was led by Chang Wen-Shien who scored two runs and picked up two RBI.  He also stole home in the bottom of the fourth to score his team’s sixth run. Shen Jen-Ching scored two runs and reached base safely in all three of his plate appearances, while Chiu Chen drew three walks and collected and RBI out of the nine slot in the batting order.

Germany’s offense collected seven hits on the day, but was not able to deliver with men on base.  Left fielder David Dinski was three-for-three with a double and two singles, while leadoff man Alexander Schmidt and second baseman Marco Cardoso both collected two hits apiece.

"It was our first day on the field after a long trip," commented Germany's manager Steve Janssen. "Overall we did well offensively. Pitching wise we could have limited walks."

Joe Cedano de Leon, Germany’s third pitcher, impressed with two shutout innings in which he allowed just one hit.

Germany will be back at it on Friday morning against the Dominican Republic while Chinese Taipei’s second game will come on Friday afternoon against the Czech Republic.