For the second time this summer, a Taiwanese select national team beat a Cuban national team. Following in the footsteps of the University level NT, the Taiwanese junior NT defeated Cuba today in a 12 inning thriller 2-1. Even though there was no medal at stake, Taiwan earned 5th place overall in the tourney. The hero for Taiwan was pitcher Kai-Wen Cheng (see above pic). He pitched a complete game, holding the Cuban offense to 1 run on 8 hits over 12 innings!! He also had 5 K's and 1 walk. I hope the adrenaline hasn't worn off for Cheng, cause his arm is gonna be hella sore! He was clocked at 90 to 92 mph, even in the 12th inning!!!
Even with the 5th place finish, the fact that Taiwan defeated both Cuba and the USA in the same tourney (If I'm not mistaken, it's something that has never been done before at any level of international competition) makes this a successful showing in my eyes. The 3 teams that Taiwan lost to: Canada and Mexico (are playing each other for the bronze medal), and South Korea (is playing the US for the gold medal) are all still playing for some hardware. The only bad game Taiwan had in the whole tourney was the 8-1 loss to Canada; other than that they played both Mexico and South Korea to a standstill. I'm very very very proud of this team. Despite the lack of critical acclaim for individual talent on the team, it goes to show that baseball is a TEAM sport. Congrats guys!!