CHINESE Taipei clobbered the Philippine Habagat 15-0 in the semifinals of the PONY International Asia Pacific Bronco Division championship on Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The Taiwanese, the defending world titlist in the premier 11-12 age bracket, peppered Filipino hurlers Stephen delos Santos, Basil Taylo and Naoki Akita with 18 hits while keeping the home side hitless to book a place in the finale.
Chinese-Taipei battles Korea at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday for the Asia Pacific crown and the right to represent the region again in the PONY International Bronco World Series slated Aug. 1-4 in Los Alamitos, California.
The Koreans advanced after beating Japan, 11-5, in the other semifinal.
The Habagat could still finish the six-nation regionals on a high if they could retain the Southeast Asian title by hurdling Indonesia in the SEA finals on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
"Chinese Taipei is the best in the world in this level, no question about that," said Habagat coach Mike Ochosa after the five-inning setback. "They are big and strong, they are full 12 year olds who attend baseball school and they hit hard."
The Taiwanese tagged De Los Santos with four quick hits in the first inning highlighted by run-scoring singles by Kuo Wen Yi and Cho Wei.
They added two more runs on Habagat errors in the second frame to double the lead then went on a seven-run binge off eight hits against Taylo in the third to take the game out of Habagat's reach, 11-0.
The Filipino batters failed to get things going against Taiwan's starter Liu Kai Cheng and his relievers Cho and Cheng Yi Hsuan in the event backed by McDonald’s, Purefoods, Gatorade, Magnolia Purewater, Nutrilite, Jamba Juice, Angel’s, Country Style Donuts.
The hosts could only get into scoring position in the third inning when sub RJ Aranzano walked to first and stole second base, only to get stranded when the Taiwanese forced the last two outs.