Japan won the men's Under-18 Baseball World Cup for the first time ©WBSC

Japan won the men's Under-18 Baseball World Cup for the first time, beating the hosts Chinese Taipei in front of a crowd of 10,000 spectators.

The top-ranked side in the World Baseball Softball Confederation men's baseball rankings had lost in their previous four appearances in the final.

They finished second in Group B in the first round of the tournament in Taipei and Taichung, thrashing Spain 10-0 in their opener, followed by a 7-0 victory over Panama and a notable 4-3 win against the defending champions the United States.

They routed Venezuela 10-0, before suffering their only defeat 1-0 to The Netherlands.

Japan started the super round with a 7-1 triumph over South Korea and a 10-0 hammering of Puerto Rico, but a 5-2 defeat to Chinese Taipei meant they finished behind the hosts in second in the standings.

Defeats for the US 3-0 to Chinese Taipei and 4-3 to Puerto Rico in the super round meant the holders and 10-time winners were forced to play the match for bronze against fourth-placed South Korea.

In today's final at the Taipei Tianmu Baseball Stadium, Chinese Taipei struck first in the bottom of the first inning, but were frustrated for much of the encounter by the pitching of Japan's Yugo Maeda, who allowed only four hits and two walks while striking out five from 92 pitches.

Japan's response came in the fourth inning when Ren Ogata and Minato Maruta scored to put them 2-1 in front.

Chinese Taipei were unable to score again, and had to settle for silver for the second year running at the Under-18 World Cup.

Japan manager Shiro Mabuchi expressed his delight at lifting the trophy for the first time.

"It’s a huge honour to take the under-18 world title back to Japan for the first time," he said.

"We tried to win this World Championship many times but always came short.

"So we are very proud."

The US had beaten South Korea 5-1 in the super round, but missed out on the podium for the first time since 2010.

It was South Korea who dominated the match for bronze, taking it 4-0.