Fri, Jul 04, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Chang Tai-shan a two-edged sword for the Sinon Bulls

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Speed and power, two key factors for the success of most professional athletes, often do not come in the same baseball player because most home-run hitters do not possess blazing speed onthe bases.

This is what makes Sinon Bulls slugger Chang Tai-shan (張泰山) such a special player to watch. Since becoming the youngest player to reach the century mark in home runs earlier this season, Chang has gradually become a serious base-stealing threat to opposing pitchers.

Having already equaled his seven-season average of 12 stolen bases half-way into this season, Chang is on pace to double his stolen base total. With 96 stolen bases and 106 homers to his credit, Chang may soon become the first man to accomplish the double-century feat: 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases.

"The amazing thing is that he is not even close to being done as far as his career is concerned" local baseball commentator Jack Chen said. "Chang will probably shatter most of the league's offensive records by the time he retires."

Chang put up some impressive numbers last week during the three-game series against the Makoto Gida, going 5-for-11 with three homers, four RBI's and a stolen base.

On Sunday night's series finale in Taichung, he single-handedly won the game for the Bulls by driving in all three of the Bulls' runs in the 3-0 shutout.

Round Up

The battle between the two former TML teams, the Makoto Gida and First Securities Agan, low-scoring contests earlier this week in Kaohsiung.

The Gida jumped to a 4-2 lead on first baseman Hsieh Jia-shien's (謝佳賢) solo blast into the left-center bleachers in the top of the fifth inning in game 1 of the four-game series. In the bottom of the ninth, Agan catcher Chen Fong-ming (陳峰民) doubled off Gida closer Bobby Munoz of Puerto Rico to bring a runner home. But Munoz quickly settled in and got the last two outs, leaving a runner stranded on base, to preserve the win for starter Lee Ming-ching (李明進).

In Wednesday night's game, the Agan sent left-hander Claudio Galva of the Dominican Republic to the mound against Gida starter Yang Chi-jia (楊騏嘉).

After trading one run in the first inning, both starters got down to business and limited any further scoring until the eighth inning.

Agan second baseman Chow Sen-yi (周森毅) led off the bottom of the eighth with a soft single to shallow left and reached second on a bunt by designated hitter Pan Chung-wei (潘忠韋).

With a man on second and one out, cleanup man Tsai Tseh-hung (蔡澤鴻) sent a slider from Gida reliever Tsai Shih-ching (蔡士勤) to deep left for a stand-up double and an RBI.

Left fielder Huang Long-yi (黃龍義) then singled home an insurance run to make it 3-1. Agan closer Lee Fong-hua (李風華) then got Gida third baseman Chang Tsung-kwei (張琮貴) to ground into a game-ending double play.

Agan reliever Gabriel Ozura got the win, while Lee recorded his sixth save of the season. Ozura's win was only the second victory by a foreign pitcher on the Agan squad all season long.

"I am glad we came through with some clutch hits in the eighth," Agan manager Tsai Rong-chung (蔡榮宗) told reporters after the game.

Upcoming Games

Games 3 and 4 between the Gida and the Agan will continue in Kaohsiung today and Saturday.

The Bulls opened a three-game homestand against the Chinatrust Whales which bagan yesterday and will continue today and on Sunday.

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