Tai­wan’s hopes at Bronco World Se­ries dashed by a rules blun­der

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Un­able to de­ploy its top pitch­ers be­cause of a misun­der­stand­ing of the rules, Tai­wan’s team of 11 and 12 year olds was elim­i­nated from the 2015 Pony In­ter­na­tional Bronco World Se­ries by Puerto Rico on Mon­day.

De­spon­dent at not hav­ing its best pitch­ers avail­able, the Tai­wanese play­ers were unin­spired and lost 17-0 in five in­nings to a team they had de­feated 11-8 the night be­fore to stay alive in the dou­ble elim­i­na­tion tour­na­ment.

Tai­wan, which lost its open­ing game of tour­na­ment on Fri­day, needed a win on Satur­day and two wins on Sun­day to climb back into con­tention and play for a spot in the cham­pi­onship game.

Com­prised mostly of play­ers from Xizhi Ele­men­tary School in New Taipei, the Tai­wanese team had planned to send its top four pitch­ers to the mound in the semi­fi­nal show­down against Baya­mon of Puerto Rico, the Bronco di­vi­sion Caribbean cham­pion.

Ace Pitcher Ruled Out

Ace Wu Chih-lun was ruled out with an in­jury be­fore the game, how­ever, and the other three — Yang Cheng-yu, Hsiao Yang-chen and Wang Hsiang-en — were ruled in­el­i­gi­ble to pitch when Tai­wan’s man­ager Chang Yao-teng pre­sented the team’s lineup be­fore the game.

Ac­cord­ing to Pony League rules, pitch­ers can­not pitch two days in a row if they throw more than three in­nings the first day.

In Tai­wan’s two wins on Sun­day, Yang, Hsiao and Wang all pitched more than three in­nings, leav­ing them un­avail­able for the semi­fi­nal.

Chang said that prior to the tour­na­ment, he dou­ble-checked the rule with the or­ga­niz­ers and was told that pitch­ers could not throw a sec­ond day in a row if they pitched three in­nings “per game.”

Coach­ing Staff Held

Re­spon­si­ble

“The coach­ing staff should be held re­spon­si­ble for the de­feat” be­cause it did not con­firm the rules, Chang said.

Once his top pitch­ers were ruled out, Chang started Shih Chi­hchien, who the team did not plan to have pitch in the World Se­ries.

Shih re­tired the Puerto Ri­cans in or­der in the first in­ning, but he had to leave the game when he was in­jured by a ball hit by Baya­mon’s lead-off bat­ter in the sec­ond hit­ting, and the Tai­wanese col­lapsed af­ter that.

Baya­mon smashed seven home runs in scor­ing five runs in the sec­ond, four in the third, and eight in the fourth, while Tai­wan man­aged only one hit in the game, which was called af­ter 4 1/2 in­nings be­cause Baya­mon led by more than 10 runs.

Chang said that with­out its top pitch­ers, the team’s morale was sapped and it per­formed far less than its best at the plate or in the field.

It was the sec­ond year in row Tai­wan fin­ished third at the Bronco World Se­ries, which was held at Los Alami­tos, Cal­i­for­nia from Aug. 7 to 10.

The tour­na­ment was at­tended by eight Pony Bronco League teams from around the world, con­sist­ing of the cham­pi­ons from the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, the Caribbean, Mexico and the United States.

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