Wed, Jul 09, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Sinon Bulls in three-way tie for first place in CPBL

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

When Chinatrust Whales cleanup man Hung Chi-fong's (洪啟峰) two-run blast cleared the center field fence for a 3-0 lead in the top of the third on Sunday, the Sinon Bulls seemed headed for another long day against a powerful Whales offense that averages over six runs per game. Instead, the Bulls kept their composure and scored five unanswered runs late in the game for their second straight come-from-behind victory.

The 5-4 win not only clinched the three-game series for the hosting Bulls, it put them in a three-way tie atop the league standings for the first time in the second half of the season.

Following the two-all series opener on Thursday night that drew nearly 3,000 fans, the Whales struck early again as they took a 2-1 lead into the eighth Friday night. Then came the one run stand-up double by Bulls third baseman Chang Tai-shan (張泰山) to tie the game.

The Whales quickly sent ace closer Maximo Rosa to the mound, but Rosa then yielded a double to batter Cheng Jau-hahn (鄭兆行).

Right-hander Yang Chien-fu (楊建福) took the mound in relief of starter Jeff Andra in the sixth and gave up one run over three innings for the win, thanks to ace stopper Ramon Morel's 1-2-3 ninth.

On Sunday in the series finale, with his team trailing 4-0, Cheng helped jumpstart a sluggish Bulls dugout. With two runners on, Cheng then won the game in the eighth with a three-run homer to the left field bleachers.

"Cheng's homer was the turning point of the game," Bulls skipper Chen Wei-chen (陳威成) said after the victory. "He definitely earned my vote for the game MVP honor."

The First Securities Agan took games 2 and 3 of their four-game series against the Makoto Gida. After splitting the first two games of the series, the hosts took a 10-1 lead after six innings against Gida starter Choi Dong-jin of South Korea and reliever Lee Yi-nan (李逸楠) on Friday.

The Agan batted around the order in the fifth inning, but the Gida would manage to score six runs in the last three innings to make the final score 10-7.

Agan starter Ben Burlingame got the win, yielding one run on five hits over 5-2/3 innings.

The Agan came within one run of their first three-game winning streak of the season on Sunday as they took a 3-2 lead into the ninth in the series finale. Ace closer Lee Fong-hua (李風華) dodged a no-out, two-on bullet in the eighth with some stellar defensive play, but could not silence the Gida bats as he gave up a leadoff single at the start of the ninth. After a sacrifice bunt that put the runner in scoring position, Gida right fielder Wu Cheng-han (吳承翰) knocked home the game-tying run with a blooper single to right.

The Brother Elephants had two easy victories against the President Lions on Thursday and Saturday night by a combined score of 11-3.

Veterans Jonathan Hurst and Yokota Hisanori held a powerful Lions attack to two runs on game 1 and a lone run in game 2 of the three-game series.

But the Elephants' luck ran out on Sunday as the home team scored early and often in a 7-2 victory that drew nearly 11,000 fans.

Behind an outstanding effort by starter John Burgos, the Lions kept the Elephants off the board until the top of the ninth. But the two Elephants runs were too little and too late.

This story has been viewed 2300 times.
TOP top