Japan beat Chinese Taipei, 7-4, and is now the only National Team undefeated in group A.
Day 3 of U-12 World Baseball Cup
In a game that saw the two teams both connect for seven hits, Japan’s first baseman Shosei Takahashi made a difference with a couple of two-run home runs.
Japan took an early lead. Chinese Taipei starter Hsu Tzu Cheng walked leadoff hitter Rui Akazawa, who advanced on the error on a pickoff attempt. He then reached third on a ground out and scored on a single by pitcher Kyonosuke Hayashi. Clean up hitter Shosei Takahashi looked at a ball and homered to the right on the second pitch by Hsu, making it a 3-0 game.
Japan added a run in the second. Catcher Shinshuke Kuwamoto led off with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. He scored as third baseman Haru Kataoka grounded out.
In the bottom half of the frame, Japan gave up a run for the first time in the tournament. Chinese Taipei’s catcher Jang Ting Yi hit a two-run double off starter Kyonosuke Hayashi and reached third on a balk. Center fielder Chiang Tsung Ching scored him with a single up the middle.
Japan broke the score open in the top of the third against reliever Lin Cheng Yu. Hayashi led off with a single. Takahashi worked the count to 2-2 and then delivered his second home run of the night.
Japan was forced to go to the bullpen in the bottom of the fourth. Hayashi allowed back to back singles to third baseman Huang Tien Szu and pinch hitter Lin Cheng Yu and left for Kotaro Kawagoe. Catcher Jang Ting Yi looked at a ball and then sent an RBI double down the right-field line. With runners at second and third, Kawagoe forced three ground balls and got out of the inning. On the second out, smart base running by Lin Cheng Yun allowed Chinese Taipei to score their third run.
Japan added an insurance run in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Kazuki Takahata.
With one out in the bottom half of the frame, pinch hitter Yu Yan Cheng singled off Shinsuke Kuwamoto, the third pitcher for Japan. A throwing error put runners at first and third. Pinch hitter Cyuan Ruei went deep enough to center to turn his fly out into a sacrifice. Kuwamoto had Tsai Wei Chen ground out to first and end the game
Games on Day 3
FIJ 1 – 27 CUB, VEN 6 – 10 MEX, CZE 21 – 4 RSA, AUS 4 – 6 ITA, JPN 7 – 4 TPE