Chinese Taipei lost a hard fought battle to Korea but still found a reason to celebrate as they advanced to the second round of the World Baseball Classic. Chinese Taipei finished the first round bracket with a 2-1 record after victories over the Netherlands and Australia. This will be the first time in tournament history that Chinese Taipei has gained a berth out of the first round of the tourney.
After a disappointing 2009 tourney, Chinese Taipei was relegated to qualify for their entry into the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Chinese Taipei extinguished any concerns about not returning to the classic with impressive victories over New Zealand and the Philippines not allowing a run in three games, punching their ticket back to the classic.
Chinese Taipei will be in for a tough draw as they join the Netherlands, Japan and Cuba in the second round bracket of the tourney which begins later this week.
Chinese Taipei is led by major league free agent pitcher Chien-Ming Wang who dominated his start pitching six scoreless innings over the Netherlands in the tourney opener. If he continues to overpower International hitters, it won’t be long before major league teams comes calling. Wang is not to be confused with teammate Ching-Ming Wang who is also on the Taipei pitching staff.
Chinese Taipei will look to Wang to lead their pitching staff towards a berth in the semifinals even if it means having to go through super powers Cuba and Japan.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.