World Baseball Classic: Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) Eliminated with Loss to the Netherlands

Closer Chen Hung-Wen walked in the winning run with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth as the Netherlands edged Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) 6-5 in Pool A action at the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday. 

As a result, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) falls to 0-2 and is eliminated. South Korea is also officially done, while the Netherlands and Israel move on to Round 2 in Tokyo.

Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) had a chance to pull off a major upset and actually led 5-4 after five innings. But a Didi Gregorius two-out double down the left-field line tied the game at five in the bottom of the eighth before Jurickson Profar drew the walk-off walk. 

Pitching depth and infield defense were question marks surrounding the Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) team heading into the tournament and both became an issue in the ninth. 

Third baseman Chiang Chih-Hsien had a chance to retire the first batter but threw too high and allowed Dashenko Ricardo to reach on an error. Chen then plunked Randolph Oduber, which was followed by an Andrelton Simmons single up the middle and then the Profar walk. 

The game-ending walk was slightly controversial as it appeared Chen had gotten Profar to pop out on the first pitch. But time had been called by the third-base umpire just prior to the pitch, which gave Profar another chance. 

Sung Chia-Hao started the game for Taiwan and went 3.1 innings, giving up four runs, all earned, off of six hits. He was relieved by Chiang Shao-Ching, the Cleveland Indians prospect, who was simply brilliant, blanking the Dutch for 3.2 innings and giving up just three hits and inducing three double plays.

Jair Jurrjens, the Netherlands' starter, lasted just three innings because of the pitch-count rule. He gave up two earned runs on three hits while walking three and striking out four. Shairon Martis got credited for the win by pitching a clean ninth. 

Offensively, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) was led by the surprise of the tournament Chang Chih-Hao. The left fielder went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. His Chinatrust Brothers teammate Chiang Chih-Hsien chipped in with two hits and two runs scored. 

Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) plays one more game against South Korea on Thursday evening, though the match is meaningless for both squads. 

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