On the Right Rout
Chinese Taipei earns second straight mercy-rule win, a 23-0 drubbing of Canada in Pool D play
Source: South Williamsport, Pa.
Date/Time: Day, August 23, 2010, 2:00pm ET
The number 23 carries a lot of weight in the baseball world. Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg wore it on his Chicago Cubs jersey for 15 years and New York Yankees great Don Mattingly donned it on his for 12 seasons.
A number like this, at least on the scoreboard, hasn't been seen at the Little League Baseball World Series in 18 years…until now.
Monday afternoon in South Williamsport, Chinese Taipei trounced Canada 23-0 in Pool D action at Volunteer Stadium in front of 6,150 Little League fans.
The Asia-Pacific champs advance to the Pool D final against the winner of Tuesday's Panama-Canada clash. Panama or Canada would have to beat Chinese Taipei twice to advance to the International Championship game.
"The entire fate of mankind doesn't hinge on the outcome of a Little League game," said Canada Manager Pat Chaba. "To be honest, those guys hit the ball really well. At a certain point you just got to tip your cap and hope everybody is wearing a cup out there. They were hitting the ball hard inside/outside, curveballs/fastballs, two seams/four seams. They just got the bat on the ball. That was impressive."
The 23 runs scored were the most in a game at the Little League World Series by one team since 1992, when Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Latin America) defeated Kaiserslautern, Germany (Europe) 24-0 and Salaberry, Quebec (Canada) 29-0.
"Yes, it's a lot of runs, but we just need more training for another team," Hsun-Hao Shih said through interpreter Cola Yeh. "We sometimes were lucky because of some errors."
Shih blasted a pair of two-run homers and flew out to the warning track in left field in his final at-bat.
"I didn't think it was a home run because I hit it right off the end of the bat," he said.
Coupled with its 18-0 win over Saudi Arabia on Saturday, Chinese Taipei has outscored its opponents 41-0.
Chinese Taipei batted around in each of the first three innings before sending eight batters to the plate in the fourth against Canada. The Asia-Pacific All-Stars sent 11 batters to bat in the first and second innings, and then 10 in the third.
The first six batters reached base in Chinese Taipei's six-run first. Highlighting the inning was Shao-Fei Huang's two-run double, Shang-Yu Wu's RBI double, and Po-Jung Tseng's RBI infield single. Tseng narrowly beat the throw from second baseman William Quito, who made a spectacular bare-handed play to his right to snag it.
Chinese Taipei tacked on seven more in the second with Shih's two-run homer, a sacrifice fly from Wei-Chih Chen, an RBI triple from Tseng, an RBI single Chen-Wei Chen, and a two-run single from Huang.
Asia-Pacific Manager Tung-Yu Ho still sees the need for some improvement.
"The fastball we're doing well," he said. "The curveball we still need to work on."
Well, 10 of the 12 players on the roster had at least one hit. In addition, 11 of the 12 scored at least one run and seven of them had at least one RBI. Eleven of the 23 runs scored were unearned, however.
Offensive stars for Chinese Taipei included leadoff man Chen-Wei Chen, who had an RBI single and four walks in five plate appearances. Huang finished with a team-high six RBI, including one from a sacrifice fly in the fourth that closed out the scoring.
When Canada manager Chaba was asked if he had any thoughts of a comeback from such a deficit, he said, "In men's slow pitch [softball], yeah!"