INDIA 5 HONG KONG 2
INDIA are the surprise team on the 1th Men Softball Asian Cup 2022 (World Cup qualifier) as they qualified for the Super Rounds as the runner-up of Group A, after they defeated Hong Kong 5-2 this afternoon at the Yasunnami Field.
India who earlier had defeated Chinese Taipei 7-5 yesterday after their 0-14 lost to Japan in their opening game, had to defeat Hong Kong today, who themselves had a chance to finish runners-up with a win over India after having defeated Chinese Taipei 10-8 in tie-breaker in 8 innings.
But India had different ideas as they were determined to make the cut to the Super round and drew first blood when they chalked 4 runs in the second inning, while Hong Kong had one run.
India had another run in third inning for 5-1 lead, while Hong Kong mustered a run in fourth inning for 5-2.
But India shut out Hong Kong to end the game 5-2 and book their place in the Super Round tomorrow.
However, it will be a tall order for India in the Super rounds as will Singapore and Philippines and will probably end up for a play-off for the bronze medal.
PHILIPPINES 10 THAILAND 0
It was not the best of starts for Philippines in the 11th Men Softball Asian Cup 2022 (World Cup qualifier) at the Shimanto Stadium, Kochi.
However, their win over Thailand today, has set the pace for them for their final game against Singapore later today.
Having to start the game late by one hour and twenty minutes because of rain which postponed the start twice, this being the opening game and having to adapt to the pitch condition, certainly had Philippines on tenterhooks.
“This was opening game as we did not have a game on the opening day because only three teams are involved in our Group and having to prepare for the game twice, as it was delayed twice, did not have our players well conditioned for the game,” explained Philippines coach Apolonio Rosales.
“But after the 1st inning, the players settled in we started performing to expectation.”
There were no runs in the first inning for both teams.
But in the second inning Philippines took a 3 run lead.
Philippines’ 19-year left handed pitcher Leo Barredo, was fast and his consistent performance with catcher Melvin De Casto in his element, Thailand had no answer.
While Philippines should have piled up their runs against Thailand, they changed Barredo, to bring in right handed pitcher Reagan Parco, whom Thailand were relived, as they found an opening to the game.
But Philippines maintained the pressure to get another run in the 4th inning for a 4-0 lead.
“We made pitcher change because we wanted to save Barredo for the match against Singapore and also to prepare the other players for the match too,” added Rosales.
Philippines went to score 2 runs in the fifth inning and another 3 in the final seventh inning, to win and book their place in the Super round tomorrow.
The Singapore-Philippines later today will decide the champion of the Group, as both teams have chalked a win over Thailand. Singapore defeated Thailand 7-4 yesterday.
“We want to finish with two wins and top the table because it is an advantage going into the Super Rounds as the result is carried over,” said Rosales.
“It will be a long day for us today, but we hope to make it worthwhile by qualifying as the champion of Group B.”