Taiwan outlasted the Dominican Republic 9-5 in a rain-soaked slugfest in Tainan on Sunday to take home the bronze medal in the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup.
Taiwan, which won the previous edition of the tournament in 2019, was eliminated from gold medal contention on Friday with a loss to the United States, and needed a comeback win over South Korea a day later to reach Sunday’s third-place playoff.
The U.S. and Venezuela are playing for gold in a game that got underway at 7:45 p.m.
In what was to be a back-and-forth, offense-heavy bronze medal tussle, both teams scored in the first inning, while the Dominican Republic pulled ahead with a solo home run in the top of the second.
As a steady rain began to fall in the bottom half of the inning, Taiwan starting pitcher Wu Sheng-zhi (吳聖智) belted a three-run homer to right-center field to put the hosts ahead 4-2.
But the lead was to be short-lived. In the top half of the third, the Dominican Republic was again threatening with runners on first and third when the game was stopped due to a thunderstorm.
Play resumed after a two-hour delay, and Dominican third baseman Marlon Polanco quickly smashed a three-run home run to left field off Taiwan reliever Qiu Yun-zhou (邱允洲) to put his team back in the lead at 5-4.
Taiwan, however, held the momentum for much of the rest of the game, in part thanks to Qiu, who regained his footing to close out the game with three scoreless innings.
After tying things up with a solo homer in the bottom of the third, Taiwan again put two runners in scoring position in the fourth, before driving them home on back-to-back singles and then scoring again on a bases loaded walk.
Taiwan added a final insurance run in the following inning, which ended up being unnecessary, as Qiu blanked the Dominican team in the top of the sixth to seal the victory 9-5.
The 2022 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup is the tournament’s sixth edition, with 11 teams having competed in two groups in the opening round before the U.S., Taiwan, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, and Mexico advanced to the Super Round.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel