Taiwan Upsets Japan in Asian Games

Japan has won the last five Asian Games baseball championships dating back to 2003. They will fail to make it six in a row as Taiwan upset the Japanese in the semifinals 10-4. Taiwan scored seven unearned runs in the second inning to take a commanding lead. Kai-Wen Cheng came on in relief to get the last two outs of the third inning and then pitched the next six innings, limiting the Japanese bats to three hits and one run. Coming into this game Japan had only allowed one run, outscoring their opponents 41-1 in three games. Taiwan had lost to Korea in the other pool 10-0.

Yen-Wen Kuo slugged a big three run homer in the seven run second to lead the offense. It was his only hit in five at bats. Chih-Hsien Chiang led both teams with three hits for Taiwan in their upset victory.

Taiwan will face Korea in the finals. In pool play they lost to Korea and their KBO professional players 10-0. China was tied with Korea at 2-2 in the other semi-final match until the fifth when Korea scored two to take a 4-2 lead. Professional homerun hitter Byung-Ho Park blasted a 3-run shot in the sixth to put the game out of reach for Korea who went on to win 7-2.

Korea had entered the game outscoring its opponents 37-0. China gave them fits, throwing out two runners on the bases to end rallies in the first two innings. They also ended the shutout streak for Korea with an RBI double by Cui Xiao in the third to tie the game at 1-1. Jung-Ho Kang broke the tie in the bottom frame with a solo shot but China got another run in the top of the fourth on an RBI double from Yang Shunyi to tie the game again.

Sung-Bam Na broke the 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single. Korea pulled away after that, Na scoring the second run by stealing second and scoring when the throw from the catcher sailed into the outfield. Jae-Gyun Hwang went a perfect 4 for 4 for Korea but that resulted in no runs scored or RBIs. Tae-Yang Lee shut down the China bats on one hit through four innings of relief, striking out five to get the victory.

Results for the game can be found here:

Asian games

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