For much of Sunday afternoon, the Chinese Taipei team in the Pony League World Series was doing more damage with fewer hits than boxer Mike Tyson did during his prime.
Bay County, Mich., had pieced together enough pitching to hold Chinese Taipei to only hit through six innings. The lone hit, however, was a big one, a three-run homer by Huang Po-Wei.
Though it held Chinese Taipei’s bats in check for six innings, Bay County, which rallied late and won in extra innings in its opening game Saturday against the Dominican Republic, was unable to take advantage and the floodgates finally opened in the seventh inning.
Chinese Taipei scored seven runs in the top of the seventh en route to a 12-1 victory over Bay County.
The win sends Chinese Taipei to a winners’ bracket game Monday night against Youngstown, Ohio at 5:30 p.m. Bay County will have another early start as it plays an elimination game at 10 a.m. against Yaguate, Dominican Republic in a rematch of the series opener. Bay County defeated Yaguate in extra innings, 8-5.
“I’d like to have a fast start in that one,” said Bay County manager Dan Revette. “We haven’t done that yet. We didn’t get anything going in this one but our pitching held them down for six innings.”
Bay County used four pitchers through the first six innings and had given up only Huang’s home run that gave Chinese Taipei a 3-0 lead in the second inning. They did hit three batters.
“Our pitching did very well,” Ravette said. “The last couple of innings is what’s going to happen with the pitch count limits. We were down 5-1, but they had only one hit.”
Chinese Taipei did not have another hit until Huang led off the seventh inning with a single. It was one of five hits in the inning for the Asia-Pacific Zone champions as they broke open the game by scoring seven times.
“I would say that we played a very stable game overall, but I’d rate our hitting only a 60 on a scale of one to 100,” Chinese Taipei manager Chiu Shih-Teng said.
The Chinese Taipei team, which is from New Taipei City, scored three runs in the second off Bay County starting pitcher Blaise Millar. Weng Zhi-Xiang was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Chen Po-Wei drew a one-out walk. Huang then hit his three-run homer that smacked off the light pole beyond the right-field fence.
Chinese Taipei made it 4-0 in the third, scoring a run on a walk, stolen base, throwing error and Chen Cheng Yi’s sacrifice fly.
Bay County’s lone run came in the bottom of the fourth after having two outs and nobody on base. Michah Irrer reached on a rare throwing error by Chinese Taipei, Landon Sella singled and Chase Raymond grounded a run-scoring double down the left-field line. Another Chinese Taipei hit batsman and two errors pushed across a run and made the score 5-1.
Bay County did not have a hit after the fourth inning.
“They threw the ball very well,” Revette said of Chinese Taipei. “That’s some of the best pitching I’ve seen.”
Tien Tzu-Chieh started and threw 3 2/3 shutout innings. Wu Sin-Jie followed for 2 1/3 innings and Lin En-Yu pitched the seventh.
“We have seven pitchers on this team,” Chiu said. “Tien pitched well. He was very efficient. We had to watch his pitch count because we wanted to save him for another game.”