Game 12: Asia-Pacific 8 vs. Canada 0

Chinese Taipei Powers Their Way Past Canada

Author: Gabe Hiatt

Source: South Williamsport, Pa.

Date/Time: Sunday, August 23, 2009, 6:00pm ET

In their first game at the Little League World Series, Kuei-Shan Little League (KSLL) scored sixteen runs recording a no-hit shutout.

For an encore, the Asia-Pacific Region Champions from Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei, shut out Hastings Community Little League (HCLL) from Vancouver, British Columbia Sunday at Volunteer Stadium by an 8-0 count.

Winning pitcher Hung Yuan Lin, the second Chinese Taipei hurler, allowed only one hit in 4.1 innings of work, scored two runs, and hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Manager Cheng Ta Lee removed Lin from the game after his 45th pitch, leaving the option open for Lin to pitch again in Kuei-Shan’s next game.

“Batting is all about timing,” Lin said. “As soon as you can control timing, you’ll be at the top.”

Lin’s teammate Wen Hua Sung opened the scoring barrage in the third inning by tatooing a two-run homer. Sung’s swat keyed the ignition for a team not used to needing three innings to score.

“The coach told me to keep focusing, keep my eye on the ball, to relax myself, and put the bat on the ball,” Sung said. “I did it, and the ball just went over the fence.”

A massive throng of Chinese Taipei fans erupted in response to Sung’s at-bat. Ironically, Lee thought their presence loomed over his crop of reserved players.

“Before the game started, we saw a lot of the crowd supporting Chinese Taipei,” Lee said. “The kids felt really nervous, but after Sung hit the home run, they started gaining confidence.”

Their confidence was obvious in the fifth inning when Chung Yao Chang, Tang Fu Cheng, and Hao Yu Lin combined to knock in five runs and seal the victory for KSLL. Hao Yu Lin was especially zeroed in on the ball, reaching safely in both of his at-bats and scoring two of the five runs in the fifth.

Hastings manager Vito Bordignon, whose team dropped an extra-inning 2-1 decision to Mexico in their first game of the World Series, felt frustrated with his team’s performance, but he thought starting pitcher Matteo Vincelli pitched well against a powerful lineup.

“I fully expected it to be a tough game,” Vincelli said. “They’re a very good hitting team. We only made two mistakes and they were home runs.”

Lee thought the potency of Kuei-Shan’s bats got in Hastings’ heads.
“For three innings both teams felt nervous,” he said. “Their team lost confidence after Sung and Hung Yuan Lin hit home runs. This is why we think we saw what we did in the game.”

Kuei-Shan matches up with the Mexico Region Champions, Guadalupe Trevino Kelly Little League (GTKLL) from Reynosa, Mexico on Tuesday at 6 p.m. GTKLL hopes to replicate the success of last year’s International Bracket Champion from the Mexico Region.

Having lost in extra innings to this year’s Mexico representative, Bordignon was able to compare Kuei-Shan and GTKLL.

“I think (Kuei-Shan) has a lot more power hitting,” he said. “I think the pitching was similar.”

Lee thinks his team has the potential to dispatch Mexico and every other international team in the field.

“When we’re making the national team, we always think our final goal is to win the championship,” Lee said. But, our first goal is to win an international championship,” Lee said.

The test begins on Tuesday when KSLL opposes Mexico at 6 p.m. in the next-to-last pool play game of the tournament on Tuesday. Canada will play their final game of the World Series against Europe on Tuesday in a 2 p.m. contest.