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TAIWAN WINS LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES

Taiwan won its first Little League World Series title since 1991 Saturday, beating Spring, Texas 17-3 in the second-most lopsided final ever.

Taiwan may have even gone on to break the record of 21 runs scored by another team from Taiwan in 1987, but the game was called after four innings because Little League introduced a 10-run mercy rule this season.Chih Hsiang Lin threw a four-hitter and had two homers, including his sixth of the series to break the career record.

Spring had just one hit until the fourth and final inning, when Christopher Conway and Michael Cepeda singled. Conway stole home and Wardell Starling, the losing pitcher, then hit a home run to center to make it 17-3.

Taiwan, which has won 16 titles since 1969, holds the record for largest margin of victory in a final with a 21-1 thrashing of Irvine, Calif., in 1987.

After the Philippines was forced to forfeit for using ineligible players in 1992, Little League banned Taiwan and three other countries for a year and promised to make sure that players were all from the same region and the correct age.

Taiwan had not reached the international finals since, but the team from Tainan, a city of about 200,000, came back with a vengeance Saturday, hitting two home runs in the first inning and getting 16 hits.

After shortstop Chia Ming Cheng hit Starling's third pitch over the left-field fence to lead off, Lin hit a homer. He later hit another to break the record of five in a series.