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Chinese Taipei, Puerto Rico earn berths for 2022 Little League World Series

PHOTO PROVIDED Members of Fu-Lin Little League of Chinese Taipei won the Asia-Pacific title to secure a spot at this year’s Little League World Series. They went 4-1 throughout the tournament.

Two more entrants secured spots at this year’s 2022 Little League World Series. Fu-Lin Little League of Chinese Taipei and Amelia Guaynabo Baseball Little League won the Asia-Pacific and Puerto Rico regions, respectively.

They join Australia as teams which have secured a spot in the Series so far.

Chinese Taipei earned the region championship title after putting together a 4-1 record through the tournament, falling only in its first game to the Republic of Korea, 2-1.

A first-time appearance for Fu-Lin Little League, this marks the 30th time a team from Chinese Taipei makes the trip to Williamsport with its first coming in 1969 when Taichung Little League won the championship with a 5-0 victory over Carney Lansford and his Briarwood Little League (Santa Clara, Calif.) team. The most recent appearance came with the Tung Yuan Little League squad of 2015 who went 2-2 and were knocked out of the winner’s bracket by the eventual champions from Japan.

Over the course of nearly 50 years, Chinese Taipei has been crowned Little League Baseball World Series champion a tournament record 17 times in its 30 appearances, with the most recent championship coming in 1996. In addition, they have earned Runner-Up finishes on three occasions (1982, 1989, and 2009). Most recently, between 2007-15, a team from Chinese Taipei had made it to Williamsport in all but two years (2008, 2014), though had not earned a World Series title during that time.

PHOTO PROVIDED Members of Amelia Guaynabo Baseball Little League pose with their championship banner after winning the Puerto Rico championship to earn a direct entry to the Little League World Series.

With its 30 appearances, Chinese Taipei has the fourth-most international teams represented at the Little League Baseball World Series behind Canada (61), Mexico (33), and Japan (31). Its 17 World Series championships also makes up for nearly half of the 37 total international championship titles over the course of the event’s 74-year history.

Chinese Taipei still holds a number of team and individual records at the Little League Baseball World Series, including the most consecutive appearances in championship games with six (1977-82; 1986-91) as well as two of the tournament’s seven perfect games (1973, 1979). In 1973, the team did not allow a single hit throughout their tournament run and the 1995 championship game between Chinese Taipei and Texas remains tied for fourth all-time in attendance with an estimated 42,000 fans coming to watch.

Amelia Guaynabo Baseball Little League earned the country’s first direct entry to the Little League Baseball World Series as part of the expanded bracket. Amelia Guaynabo Baseball Little League lost a hard-fought 2-0 game against Vega Baja earlier in the region tournament but was able to flip the script on championship Sunday, finishing with a 5-1 record to earn the title and punch their ticket to represent Puerto Rico at the 75th Anniversary of the Little League Baseball World Series.

While the first ever trip for Amelia Guaynabo Baseball Little League, this marks the 11th Series appearance for Puerto Rico, dating back to the country’s first Series in 1959. The most recent team from Puerto Rico to play in Williamsport was the 2018 Caribbean Region champion Radames Lopez Little League (Guayama, Puerto Rico). The Puerto Rican team dropped their first game of the tournament before stringing together three straight wins and was eventually knocked out by Japan in the international semifinals. Puerto Rico’s best tournament run came in the 1999 LLBWS, where the Juan A. Bibiloni Little League (Yabucoa, Puerto Rico) went 3-1, with its only loss to Japan in the international championship game.

The 2019 decision to expand the Little League World Series allows two more international teams to earn direct entry on a three-year rotation dependent on league and player participation. The randomly selected rotation grants Puerto Rico direct entry in 2022 alongside Panama and in 2024 with Cuba. In 2023, teams from Puerto Rico will compete for a spot in South Williamsport through the Caribbean Region tournament.

Fu-Lin Little League will face the winner of the Europe-Africa Region in Game 5 of the Little League Baseball World Series on Thursday, August 18, at 1 p.m. in Volunteer Stadium. Guaynabo Baseball Little League will square off against the winner of the Mexico Region in Game 7 on Thursday at 5 p.m. in Volunteer Stadium.

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