Tue, May 13, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Elephants stomp on Lions

TAIWAN BASEBALL The Brother Elephants clinched the series on Sunday, winning big over the President Lions. The Whales swam back from a deficit in the series

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

After dropping game one of the three-game series against the President Lions 15-3 in Tainan on Thursday, the Brother Elephants got back on the winning track and finished off the week with two impressive wins against the hosting Lions by scores of 9-3 and 12-3.

The 12-3 win on Sunday clinched the series for the Elephants against the third-placed Lions. It was the third series in a row, and only the fourth series of the season that the slow-starting Elephants have taken.

The series began with Lions ace Joe Davenport taking the mound on Thursday in an attempt to stop his team's six-game losing streak. The right-hander from the US rose to the occasion and promptly responded with a three run, seven-inning effort en route to his league-leading eighth victory of the season. Led by second baseman Hiroaki Yoshimi's four-for-four performance, which included a pair of RBI's, the Lions offense piled on 15 runs by the end of the game.

That was all the offense that the Lions fans would see during the series, because the Elephants pitchers never gave up more than three runs per game in the next two contests.

Riding on the success of its outstanding pitching, the Elephants' bats came alive, knocking in 21 runs during the next two games. Elephants right fielder Peng Cheng-ming's (彭政閔) recent offensive surge (8-for-12 at the plate with 7 RBI's in the last three games), including a grand slam off struggling Lions starter Chen Yang-kai (陳揚凱) on Sunday night, earned him his second game-MVP honor of the week.

Bulls-whales showdown

The highly anticipated matchup between the league-leading Sinon Bulls and the ChinaTrust Whales finally lived up to its billing, after two easy Bulls victories earlier this week (6-3 on Tuesday and 13-6 on Wednesday).

Down two games to none in the four-game series, the Whales shutout a powerful Bulls lineup that featured the league's home run and RBI leader Chang Tai-shan (張泰山) by a score of 2-0 in game three in Hsinchuang on Friday.

Whales starter Maximo Rosa went the distance for his first shutout win of the season, while his counterpart Osvaldo Martinez pitched eight scoreless innings before giving up two runs in the top of the ninth in a losing effort.

Game four between the two teams in Tienmu ended in a 12-inning, one-all draw as the Whales once again matched the Bulls hit for hit and out for out. It was a moral victory for the Whales because four of its eight regular starting fielders were out of the lineup because of injuries.

"I give ourselves an 80 percent mark today," Whales manager Lin Chung-chiou (林仲秋) said following Saturday's outing. "A win would have been a perfect score in my book."

The Makoto Gida snapped a four-game losing streak as they feasted off the First Securities Agan in Kaohsiung on Thursday in a 4-2 victory. Outhit by the Agan 6-to-8, the Gida relied on timely hits by the heart of the order -- Hsieh Jia-shian (謝佳賢), Cheng-Ching-yi (鄭景益), and Chiou Chang-rong (丘昌榮) -- to be the difference in the game.

First baseman Hsieh Jia-shian got his team on the board with his fifth homer of the season in the fifth. The solo blast cleared the deep left fence off Agan starter Greg Bicknell. Down 2-1, Gida designated hitter Cheng came up huge by knocking a Bicknell pitch over the right-center wall to tie up the game at two all. With two outs and runners on second and third in the eighth, Chiou knocked in the game-winner with his two-run single off Agan reliever Hsu Wen-hsiung (許文雄).

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