Major upset as France beat Taiwan 4 to 3 in Universiade

Major upset at the 2017 Universiade opener today, as France defeated the reining champion Taiwan 4 to 3, after scoring 3 runs on a walk-off error by Team Taiwan in the bottom of the 9th inning.

The 2017 Team France

The backbone of this French team is made up by 12 members of the French national team who participated in the 2017 WBC qualifier.  Where the team finished with 1 win over Spain and 2 losses to Panama.

The 28-year-old RHP Owen Ozanich pitched a solid game against the Taiwanese team today.  Limiting the host nation to a 3 runs ball game over 7.1 innings of work.

Team France celebrating after the dramatic win over team Taiwan. Photo Credit: (

Not the first time Ozanich in Taiwan

Ozanich was part of the EU All-Star team in 2015 and 2016 CPBL Winter League.  Where he faced teams from NPB, KBO, CPBL and the Taiwanese junior national team.  Ozanich had 4 starts in 2016 and posted a record of 8.79 ERA, 1.88 WHIP over 14.1 innings.

Owen Ozanich CPBL Winter League Stats (2015 and 2016)

Apart from Ozanich, RHP Leonel Cespedes also spent 2015 in Taiwan for winter league with the record of 4.50 ERA, 1.75 WHIP over 8 innings of work as reliever.

Team Taiwan Game 1 Recap

The Taiwanese offense was shut down by France’s starting pitcher Owen Ozanich, with only 2 scatter hits in the first 4 innings.  It is not until the 5th where team Taiwan scored their first run with an RBI single by 陳重羽 (Chen Chung-Yu) and extended their lead further by adding another 2 more runs in the top of 8th.

The Taiwanese pitching staff does a phenomenal job today, issued a total of 18 strikeouts to the French team, 12 of them came from the starting pitcher 呂彥青 (Lu Yen-Ching) in 6 innings of work.  The Taiwanese team carried a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the 9th but unable to registered the final out.

With 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, closer 江國豪 (Chiang Kuo-Hao) puts a man on first with a hit-by-pitch, followed by giving up back-to-back-to-back singles.  And put Taiwan in a bases-loaded jam.

And you know the rest, Felix Brown hits a routine pop-fly to centrefield, but the centrefielder 王正棠 (Wang Cheng-Tang) lost the ball in the sun and dropped it.  France end up scoring 3 runs on that walk-off error and defeated Taiwan 4 to 3.

王正棠 (Wang Cheng-Tang) after dropping a routine pop-fly. Photo Credit: (

Nobody like to lose, but with failures that’s how players grow and develop.  Hopefully he (Wang) can use this as an opportunity to further motivate himself in the near future.  Despite the error that cost us the game, it won’t affect him (Wang) in the future lineup.”  Said the skipper Kuo-Li after the game.

Upcoming Team Taiwan schedule and other news

Team Taiwan will take on Czech Republic on the 22nd of August and South Korea on the 23rd.  In order to avoid elimination, it’s a must win game against Czech Republic.

  • Another upset in group A play as Czech Republic defeated South Korea 4 to 3.
  • USA triumph in a nail-biter over their 3 to 2 win over Mexico.
  • Japan mercy-rule Russia 19 to 0

Further Readings


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