Austria shows outstanding performance against Chinese Taipei

The fifth and last game for Austria in the opening round featured a matchup against the current U-21 World Champion, Chinese Taipei. The game didn´t start as planned, but Austria kept fighting. After Bickel showed an outstanding performance, the bull pen didn´t allow any runs. The offense couldn´t produce any runs, so Austria lost 3:0.

The youngster Lukas Bickel from the Feldkirch Cardinals got the ball from Head Coach Hiro Sakanashi to start the game against Chinese Taipei. A little bit of nervousness got visible at the first pitches, when Bickel walked the first batter of the game. He tried to adapt, but let some pitches over the plate. The professional baseball players from Taiwan didn´t hesitate and shot two rickets to left field. On the second line drive, left fielder Alzinger didn´t look good, when the ball passed him and went all the way to the fence. The scoreboard soon showed a “2” on the scoreboard and Austria was trailing.

In the second and the third inning, the Austrian defense made a much better job, diving for balls and making outstanding plays with throws across the infield. Amin Many once again showed his athleticism with a great diving catch in center field. The team in red and white managed to put two runners on base, but also the defenders of Chinese Taipei proved great skill and kept Austria off the score board.

Bickel found perfectly into the game and let the opposing batters ground out one after the other. Alltough the balls were hit pretty hard, the defense could make all the plays, keeping Austria in the game. Also the outfield helped out, when the fifth inning started off with a hard hit down the left field line. Richard Alzinger covered a lot of ground, picked up the ball and sent a laser to second to get the runner for out number one. After the next batter was walked, another hard hit seemed to pass the infield, but Sammy Hackl just caught it, sent ball Felix Zimmerle who turned two against Chinese Taipei. The crowd was on its feed once again to honor the great effort by Team Austria.

Team Austria presents itself as a unit - Foto: ABF/Godler

When Bickel allowed the third run in the game, the call to the bull pen brought Daniel Walenta on the mound. The short right hander tricked the experienced Taiwanese batters with his off-speed stuff and got the team out of the inning. Meanwhile, Austria was fighting to get the offense going. Felix Zimmerle had the first team hit for the team, but soon Chinese Taipei turned two to end Austria´s hopes.

Walenta already recorded one out in the eighth, when he loaded up the bases. Rookie Moritz Scheicher was sent on the hill and did, what the coaches asked for: Scheicher got in control of a hard hit come-backer, made a quick throw to home and Catcher Jäger turned two to end the inning. Also in the ninth, Scheicher threw great pitches. Only one ball was driven to deep right field, but diving Felix Wilhelm couldn´t make the catch. With a runner on third, Scheicher managed to get a pop-up to end the inning.

Rookie Mo Scheicher had a stellar outing on Tuesday - Foto: ABF/Godler

The last chance for Team Austria to score runs started with two quick outs, but then Felix Zimmerle could reach base once again to put some pressure on the defense. Ferdi Obed came in as a pinch-hitter and was asked to do the magic once again. With a good swing, he sent the ball to right field, but the defender had no problem catching the final out of the game.

Without a question, that was an outstanding performance of Team Austria against Chinese Taipei at the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup! Austria lost 3:0 against the current U-21 World Champion, but players and coaches gave all they had and proved the great development in Baseball Austria. It was an honor to see the team play on such a high level of baseball.

OCT 28, Cadereyta Stadium, 10 AM, Australia vs. Austria – 8:1
OCT 29, Cadereyta Stadium, 10 AM, Austria vs. Argentina – 3:13
OCT 30, Cadereyta Stadium, 10 AM, Nicaragua vs. Austria – 15:0
OCT 31, Saltillo Stadium, 6 PM, Austria vs. Japan – 0:16
NOV 1, Monterrey Stadium, 6PM, Austria vs. Chinese Taipei - 0:3




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Baseball League Austria
Ost G W L Pct
26 21 5 .808
26 17 9 .654
26 15 11 .577
26 11 15 .423
26 8 18 .308
West G W L Pct
26 22 4 .846
26 15 11 .577
26 12 14 .462
26 5 21 .192
26 4 22 .154