Team USA Drops Super Round Opener to Chinese Taipei

U.S. loses 3-0 contest despite strong start from Kuhns

Box Score & Plays | Cumulative Stats

TAIPEI, TaiwanTegan Kuhns (Gettysburg, Pa.) pitched 5.2 strong innings, but Team USA fell to Chinese Taipei, 3-0, in the first game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Super Round on Thursday night at Tianmu Baseball Stadium.  

The U.S. is now 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the Super Round standings, per WBSC tournament regulations. Chinese Taipei improves to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Super Round.

Taipei’s Nian-Hao Wang was the difference in Thursday’s contest. After a two-out walk put a runner on in the third, Wang sent a high fly ball over the left field wall for Taipei’s first hit, a two-run shot that gave it a 2-0 lead. Taipei starter Jun-Wei Zhang held the U.S. off the scoreboard from there, and Wang added an insurance run with a two-out RBI single in the seventh.

Zhang gave the Team USA lineup all it could handle, striking out seven over 6.1 shutout innings to earn the victory. Zhang permitted hits in the first and second innings but nothing after that, retiring 11 consecutive U.S. hitters before allowing a walk in the seventh. Yi-Lei Sun took over and recorded the final two outs to earn the save.

Despite suffering the loss, Kuhns delivered a strong outing on the mound for the stars and stripes. The right-hander scattered four walks and three hits in his 5.2 innings of work, striking out four and yielding just the two runs on Wang’s home run. Bryce Rainer (Simi Valley, Calif.) got the U.S. out of a jam in the sixth with a strikeout but allowed an insurance run in the seventh in relief, striking out a pair in his outing.


  • Chinese Taipei’s Ting-Lun Hsu was hit by the first pitch of the game but was erased on the basepaths on a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play orchestrated by catcher Nolan Traeger (Spring, Texas).
  • PJ Morlando (Summerville, S.C.) notched the first hit of the day for Team USA in the bottom of the first by legging out an infield single before being stranded at first on an inning-ending fly out.
  • A fielder’s choice ended the U.S. half of the third after Traeger singled up the middle for the United States’ second two-out hit in as many innings.
  • Wang hit a two-run homer for Chinese Taipei’s first hit of the day to put Team USA in a 2-0 hole in the third.
  • A bunt single by Chia-Wei Lin and a two-out walk chased Kuhns from the game in the sixth; Rainer then entered and notched a strikeout to keep the U.S. deficit at two.
  • Wang hit an RBI single with two outs in the top of the seventh to drive in his third run of the game and put Chinese Taipei in front by three.
  • Levi Clark (Marietta, Ga.) drew a one-out walk in the seventh to knock Zhang out of the game, but Sun got the final two outs in relief to complete the 3-0 victory for Chinese Taipei.


  • Morlando (1-for-3) and Traeger (1-for-3) had the only two hits for the United States in the contest.
  • With his four strikeouts on Thursday, Kuhns is now tied with Ethan Schiefelbein (Corona, Calif.) for the team lead with eight punch outs.
  • The loss was the first time the 18U National Team has been shut out since 2015 (vs. Japan).
  • Team USA is now 22-10-1 all-time against Chinese Taipei at the U-18 level.


Team USA continues WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Super Round play, taking on Korea on Friday at 2:30 p.m. local/2:30 a.m. ET. Catch all the action from Tianmu Baseball Stadium by watching live on


To follow along with all the action with the 18U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.