Youth base­ball team wins sev­enth Pony world ti­tle

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tai­wan’s youth base­ball team of 13- and 14- year-olds won their 7th Pony world cham­pi­onship in Washington, Penn­syl­va­nia Wed­nes­day, with a 12-1 vic­tory over a team from San Bernardino, Cal­i­for­nia.

Af­ter get­ting struck out twice in the 1st in­ning, the Tai­wanese team went on an all-out of­fen­sive. Two con­sec­u­tive hits from Chen Feng ( ) and Wu Chih­lung ( ) brought Tai­wan up 5-0 in the first, forc­ing the Amer­i­can team to re­place its pitcher.

In the 4th in­ning, Ho Yi-lung ( ) smacked a home run to bring the team up 6-1. The 5th in­ning saw the op­pos­ing pitcher still un­able to con­trol the Tai­wanese team, al­low­ing another six points to bring Tai­wan up to a size­able 12-1 lead, which ended up be­ing the fi­nal score.

This year’s team is pri­mar­ily drawn from three schools in Taoyuan, north­ern Tai­wan. A state­ment from the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion ( MOE) had asked for the coun­try to sup­port the young play­ers in the com­pe­ti­tion.

In or­der to get to this point, the Tai­wanese team had to de­feat an ex­tremely strong Puerto Ri­can team — which they did hand­ily on Wed­nes­day to gain the top spot in the fi­nals group. The play­ers ex­pressed their im­mense glee at win­ning the cham­pi­onship, with plenty of hugs and smiles to go around.

The win comes af­ter Tai­wan’s Bronco team, con­sist­ing of 11and 12- year-olds, was elim­i­nated due to an ap­par­ent misun­der­stand­ing of the tour­na­ment’s rules re­gard­ing the use of pitch­ers.

The Pony League Youth Base­ball Cham­pi­onship has ex­pe­ri­enced rapid growth in re­cent years, at­tract­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion of multi­na­tional teams and ma­jor spon­sors. Be­ing one of the few in­ter­na­tional sport­ing com­pe­ti­tions to al­low the use of the na­tional flag of the Re­pub­lic of China (although the of­fi­cially reg­is­tered name is still Chi­nese Taipei), matches are also streamed on the Ma­jor League Base­ball’s web­site.

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