Taipei-Taiwan's national baseball team on Wednesday triumphed over visiting Team Venezuela, 3-0 on the second day of the Premier12 baseball championship in Taichung.
The second consecutive win for Team Taiwan, in Group B, means they will advance to the next round of the tournament, along with Japan, which beat Puerto Rico 4-0 earlier in the day.
Taiwan and Japan now have 2-0 records, while Puerto Rico and Venezuela are both at 0-2 in the four-team group.
The top two finishers in each of the three groups will advance to the final six-team Super Round to be held in Japan.
Wednesday's game remained scoreless for six innings until Taiwan broke the deadlock in the top of the seventh inning, thanks to two consecutive RBI-doubles by Chu Yu-hsien (???) and Wang Wei-chen (???), which put the team in a 2-0 lead.
Taiwan added another safety run in the top of the ninth inning on a hit and two wild pitches, to widen the gap 3-0, which it held until the end.
Taiwan's starting pitcher Chang Yi (??) of Nippon Professional Baseball's Orix Buffaloes squelched Venezuelan batting lineup with 102 pitches in seven innings. He struck out six, while giving up only four hits.
Taiwan and Japan will face off Thursday, and the winner will top Group B.
Sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the 2019 edition of the Premier12 features the top 12 teams in the WBSC's 2018 year-end world rankings.
With baseball returning to the Summer Olympics next year for the first time since 2008, the quadrennial Premier12, first launched in 2015, has added importance this year as a 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifying event.
Taiwan will have to first advance to the final six-team Super Round and finish above South Korea and Australia in the tournament to secure a berth in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel