The CNMI Majors All-Star Team held its ground against the highly favored Chinese-Taipei in the first three innings before yielding and bowing out of contention in the 2019 Asia Pacific-Middle East Regional Tournament yesterday at the Hwaseong Dream Park in Seoul, South Korea.
Chinese-Taipei earned an 8-0 victory over the Commonwealth bets to sweep the elimination round in Pool B and advance to the semis of the World Series qualifier. The CNMI finished pool play with an even 2-2 record and the loss to Chinese-Taipei was its second straight after the costly defeat to New Zealand last Monday. Hong Kong joined Chinese-Taipei in the semifinals after earning a 2-2 mark and beating the CNMI and New Zealand in the tiebreak. In Pool A, host South Korea (4-0) and the Philippines (3-1) are the Final Four qualifiers and their semis matches against Hong Kong and Chinese-Taipei, respectively, will be played today.
The Commonwealth, on the other hand, is scheduled to duel Thailand in the consolation match this morning.
The CNMI, which topped Vietnam and Hong Kong over the weekend, shut down Chinese-Taipei in the first three innings before the eventual semifinalist scored two runs at the top of the fourth. Dylan Santos was the starting pitcher for the CNMI and worked the mound for 3.3 innings. Greg Tebit and Joey Vincent Dela Cruz also hurled for the Gregorio T. Camacho-managed team.
Chinese-Taipei added six more runs at the top of the fifth, while the CNMI failed to counter to kiss its playoff bid goodbye.
Despite the loss, the CNMI held Chinese-Taipei to its lowest output in the elimination round. The Pool B top finisher routed New Zealand, 16-0; crushed Vietnam, 18-0; and whipped Hong Kong, 15-0. Chinese-Taipei was only 5-for-23 at bat in their game against the CNMI.