Baseball goes extra innings but not enough for Chinese Taipei
Courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics
GWANGJU, Korea – July 8, 2015- Cal State Fullerton, representing the USA, dropped its second game at the 2015 World University Games, 5-3, to Chinese Taipei in 10 innings Wednesday afternoon at KIA Champions Field.
USA (1-1) overcame an early 2-0 deficit and near hour rain delay to take a 3-2 lead but Chinese Taipei tied the game in the seventh and plated two runs in the 10th to take the game and take over the top spot in the Group B standings.
Eight different USA players recorded a hit on Wednesday, led by Taylor Bryant’s 2-for-5 effort. Josh Vargas was 1-for-3 with two walks and a stolen base and Dalton Blaser was 1-for-4 with an RBI double and a run scored.
Chinese Taipei jumped out in front in the first inning off USA starter Brett Conine. Tsung-hsien Lee started the rally with a one-out infield single and then Tai-chun Yang followed with another single to right field.
Cleanup hitter Po-jung Wang, who entered the game hitting .750, smacked a double to right field to clear the bases and put Chinese Taipei ahead 2-0 early.
It stayed that way until the sixth inning when the USA sent eight men to the plate and scored three times to take the lead. Timmy Richards drew a one-out walk and Blaser ripped the next pitch down the right-field line for a double, scoring Richards to make it 2-1. Tristan Hildebrandt then stepped in and lined a base hit to center, where Yu-ning Tsao overran the ball, allowing it to get to the wall. Hildebrandt ended up at third and Blaser scored easily to tie the game, 2-2.
With two out, Vargas stepped in and lofted a ball to shallow center field. Tsao laid out in center for a diving catch but the ball popped out of his glove on the landing and Vargas was safe at first while Hildebrandt scored to give the USA a 3-2 lead.
The lead was short-lived as Chinese Taipei got a couple of hits and then, with second and third and two out, scored the tying run after USA reliever Erik Cha threw a wild pitch on an intentional walk attempt.
The game stayed tied through nine innings, resulting in the international tiebreaker rule taking effect. Each team began the 10th inning with runners on first and second and got the option to choose where in the batting order they would like to start.
Chinese Taipei capitalized in their half of the 10th as Tai-chun Yang singled to drive in a run with one out in the frame. Catcher Min-hsun Chang then singled with the bases loaded to drive in another run and make it 5-3 for Chinese Taipei and the USA could not score in their half of the inning to end the game.
The USA will face Mexico in the last game of group play on Thursday at 11 a.m. KT and 7 p.m. PT on July 8 back in Fullerton. The game will be a make-up of Tuesday’s game that was cancelled due to rain with Mexico leading 2-0 in the bottom of the first. The game will start from scratch and not be a resumption of Tuesday’s game.