On Friday, in the fourth round of the IV WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup, Mexico, ranked fourth in the world, won 2-1 over Chinese Taipei, the tournament’s hosts, to advance out of the tiebreak round. Ruben Salinas was the offensive catalyst for Mexico.
Salinas pounced on a hanging breaking ball with runners on second and third and two outs remaining in the eighth inning, and he ended up turning it into the game-winning hit. In the bottom of the inning, Manuel Castro worked, and he ended the game by striking out the final batter.
The San Diego Padres outfielder, who was 19 years old at the time, walked up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning with runners on first and third and two outs. He pushed the count to 3-1, then jumped all over a hanging breaking ball and turned it into a clean single to left field, which allowed Jose Zepeda to score and break the tie. Bottom of the frame saw Manuel Castro retire each of the sides in sequential order.
As the second baseman, Chinese Taipei jumped out to an early lead against the starting pitcher for Mexico, Jordan Suarez. In the bottom of the first inning, with two outs, Li-I Wei singled, and right fielder Song En Tseng doubled to put the winning run in scoring position.
Mexico finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning against flame thrower Zhong-Ao Zhuang Chen, after failing to score against the submarine Yu-hung Chen in the previous inning. Christopher Ecarrega reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. In spite of the fact that the third baseman, Teng Yu Wang, attempted to make a diving catch, he scored on a base hit by Jose Zepeda after getting to third on a hit by pinch-hitter Hugo Sanchez.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Chinese Taipei was only ninety feet away from winning the game. The bases were loaded when reliever Manuel Castro approached the mound, but he escaped the jam by firing three 95-mile-per-hour (or 152-kilometer-per-hour) fastballs past Teng Yu Wang. Castro took the mound with runners on first and second when he faced the situation.
Salinas put Mexico in the lead
Chinese Taipei advanced the runners in the tie-break position with a predicted sacrifice bunt, which resulted in the slugger Song En Tseng being intentionally walked.
Jyun Siang Yang hit a towering fly ball to shallow center field, and then Teng Yu Wang, who was the leading runner in the tie-break, was caught. The game was over when Castro tricked the pinch hitter Sheng Hao Chang into staring at another pitch that was too hot.
Fourth in the world There is a possibility that Mexico may participate in the final game of the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup for the third year in a row. They would need to win their final game of the Super Round against No. 1 Japan, while No. 2 Chinese Taipei would need to win their game against No. 10 Australia in order to join a three-way tie for second place.
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