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NPB win leader headlines opening day starters in Group B

04/11/2019

TAICHUNG, Taiwan -- World No. 1 Japan and No. 9 Venezuela will open Group B of 2019 WBSC Premier12® at Taoyuan International Stadium at 18:00 on November 5th. Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) 2019 leader in wins (15-4, 2.91 ERA in Central League) Shun Yamaguchi from Yomiuri Giants will start for Japan against former Major Leaguer Felix Antonio (8-6, 4.58 ERA in Mexico League) from Venezuela. Japan defeated Venezuela, 6-5, in the opening round of the WBSC Premier12 in 2015.

At 18:30, Group B host and world No. 4 Chinese Taipei will send Chiang, Shao-Ching to the mound to face Fernando Cruz of No. 11 Puerto Rico at Taichung Intercontinental Stadium. Chiang, a member of the Cleveland Indians organization, went 5-5 with 5.15 ERA for the Columbus Clippers in 2019. Fernando Cruz, who plays in the Puerto Rican Winter League, will make his debut in the Premier12. In their last meeting, Puerto Rico defeated Chinese Taipei, 7-4, in the 2015 Premier12, which knocked Chinese Taipei out of the global championship.