Yung-Chi Chen also continued his hot hitting streak by going 3-5 with a double. The game would remain scoreless until the 10th inning when NT reliever Po-Hsuan Keng would allow a couple of walks/hits/sac-fly that would produce 3 runs for the Dutch team. Taiwan would score a run in the bottom of the 10th, but that was it.
Facing the most important game to date in the I-Cup, the NT lost in extra innings 4-2 to the Dutch NT. Wasting a great performance by starting pitcher Chien-Fu Yang, who pitched 5.2 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits to go along with 5 K's and 3 walks and reliever Yueh-Ping Lin (2.1 scoreless innings - 4 K's), the Taiwanese NT now finds itself in a deep hole. After the Dutch team had taken an early 1-0 lead, youngster Chung-Shou Yang finally got untracked as he cranked a solo HR in the 3rd inning to tie things up - he would finish with a 2-4 night. Yang, who had hit well in the exhibition matches prior to the I-Cup, was hitting only .077 (1-13) prior to tonight's game.Yang(R) after the HR
With the loss, Taiwan now finds itself in 6th place (2-3) with 2 games remaining (Taiwan loses the tiebreaker to Italy). Taiwan will amost certainly have to win both games or have Lady Luck on their side in order to have a shot at making it to the semis. While a win over the RP is almost a guarantee, beating Cuba - the only undefeated team in the tourney will be a very difficult task. Aside from Cuba and Japan, who are virtually guaranteed the top 2 spots, the other 3 teams ahead of Taiwan have the following games remaining:
1)Australia 3-2: Cuba, the Netherlands
2)Netherlands 3-2: Korea, Australia
3)Italy 2-3: Japan, Korea
Based on the above matchups, it is highly likely that Taiwan will leapfrog Italy should Italy lose to both Asian teams. Therefore, Taiwan would need one of a few things to happen in order to advance to the semis:
1)Both Australia and the Netherlands would need to lose tomorrow and then Australia would need to defeat the Netherlands on Thursday. Taiwan would have to take care of business and beat Cuba. With that scenario, Taiwan would advance as the #3 seed.
2)Or if Australia and the Netherlands both lose tomorrow, Taiwan could still advance as the #4 seed if they lose to Cuba and the Netherlands beat Australia on Thursday.
3)Australia loses both games - we win one game, regardless of how the Dutch team does, we win the tie-breaker vs. Australia and advance as a probable 4 seed.
We'll have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best in the next couple of days.
Ching-Lung Hu was removed from Mesa's roster on 11/13. I'm assuming it's because he's on his way home to prepare for the upcoming Asian Games. Hu had a rough time in the AFL as he couldn't get his bat going.