Taiwan and Curacao looking to win the international bracket at LLWS | Olympic Games


By JAKE STARR – Associated Press

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — Taiwan will face Curacao on Saturday in the Little League World Series semifinals to determine which team will represent the international group in the championship against an American team.

Here’s a preview of the game.

Taiwan are yet to lose a match so far in the tournament and outscore their opponents 14-1. It started with a 2-0 win over Italy and followed with a 7-0 loss to Panama.

In their third game, Taiwan beat Mexico 5-1 to qualify.

Curaçao has had a much longer road to international confrontation. After beating Nicaragua 2-0 to open the tournament, Curacao lost 9-3 to Panama to drop out of the group of winners.

Since then, Curaçao had to win four games in a row to qualify for the semi-finals. They beat Italy 1-0, then beat Canada 4-2 and triumphed 7-2 over Nicaragua. On Thursday, Curacao advanced after beating Mexico 2-1, courtesy of a late rally.

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Curacao’s Davey-Jay Rijke dominated both on the mound and on the pitch. Rijke struck out 15 in Curacao’s 7-2 win over Nicaragua. He is ineligible to pitch this weekend due to pitch counting rules. But he was practical on the field at shortstop and scored six points.

In that game, Deshawn Bonafasia landed a big two-run single. Bonafasia is one of the tallest players in the Curacao squad, standing 6ft 1in.

On the Taiwan side, Tseng Yi-Che is leading the way. He had two hits in the last game, a win over Mexico. Liao Yuan-Shu had two RBIs. He’s another mainstay to look for in Saturday’s game.

While Taiwan managed to outscore their opponents by 13 points in three games in the LLWS, Curacao has a positive point differential of just five in six games. Curacao also have two one-point wins and two two-point wins. If Saturday’s game is close, Curacao has more experience in winning close games. Curaçao were the international champions in 2019 but lost in the tournament final. This season was the last time international teams played in the LLWS.

Jake Starr is a journalism student at Penn State.

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