Fri, May 30, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Whales get experienced coach from ailing Agan

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Speculation about former First Securities Agan skipper Hsu Sheng-ming's (徐生明) next coaching position ended Tuesday night as Chinatrust Whales' president Huang Kuo-ching (黃國清) confirmed with the media that Hsu's new appointment was as the Whales' pitching coach.

It's been less than three weeks since Hsu announced his resignation from the top post of the struggling Agan to take responsibility for the team's last-placed performance in the league standings. Hsu was named manager of the Agan in the newly aligned CPBL in late January after having spent three years as the manager of the Kaoping Fala in the former Taiwan Major League (TML).

Hsu will assist Whale pitching coach Asano Keishi in preparing his pitching staff in the heated title race against the league-leading Sinon Bulls, Huang said.

The Whales now seem to be the only team with a chance to challenge the Bulls down the stretch.

"With Hsu's proven professional competence, we are certain he will be a positive addition to this team."

Huang was quoted as saying by a local Chinese-language newspaper.

Hsu brings over 11 years of head coaching experience. An outstanding pitcher in his own right, Hsu demonstrated his outstanding coaching ability by leading the former Weichuan Dragons to three consecutive championships from 1997 to 1999, an achievement that earned him the Manager of the Year honors for each of those years. He is also the only manager to have headed a team in both the CPBL and the former TML.

Hsu will also serve as executive head coach for Taiwan's national team in the upcoming Asian Championship, whose top two winners will earn the right to take part in the 2004 Olympic baseball competition.

Round Up

The Brother Elephants split the first two games of their four-game series against the hosting President Lions in Tainan earlier this week.

Lions starter Dai Long-shui (戴龍水), who has not beaten the Elephants in nearly two years, snapped his eight-game losing streak against the Elephants in a 5-2 triumph on Tuesday.

The Lions offense spotted him a 2-0 first-inning lead and that was all Dai needed for his third win of the season. Dai went eight innings, yielding two runs on eight hits. Keeping his pitch count under 100, he remained efficient and did not allow a single walk.

Taking the complete-game loss for the Elephants was starter Wang Ching-li (王勁力), a 10-game winner from last season, who is still winless for the year.

American pitchers

Game 2 of the series on Wednesday featured a pair of American pitchers: Joe Davenport of the Lions against Jonathan Hurst of the Elephants.

The Elephants breezed through the first seven innings of play while building a commanding 5-0 lead en route to a 6-2 win.

The Lions hitters were held to four hits through seven innings by Hurst, whose fastballs were clocked at over 145kph to complement his off-speed pitches that found the strike zone early and often.

The Lions finally got on the board with two runs in the eighth on four hits, one of which could have been scored as an error against the Elephants shortstop Chen Rei-cheng (陳瑞振).

With one out and runners at the corners, Chen missed a two-hopper that would have turned into an inning-ending double-play.

Officials credited the play as a hit that made both runs against Hurst in the eighth earned.

The win extended Hurst's winning streak to four and ended Davenport's five-game winning streak at home.

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