Mon, Oct 20, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Elephants fly to take Series

TAIWAN SERIES The Brother Elephants overcame the Sinon Bulls in just six games, winning the championship four games to two for the team's third consecutive title

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Lin Yi-tseng, manager of the Brother Elephants, is tossed in the air by his players after Game 6 of the 2003 Taiwan Series in Tienmu, Saturday after defeating the Sinon Bulls 4-3 and winning the series.

PHOTO: LU CHUN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

Sinon Bulls reliever Yang Chien-fu (陽建福) in the bottom of the 10th inning scored the leadoff man Lin Ming-shien from third to put the Brother Elephants at the top of local baseball's Mount Olympia for the third straight year.

The 4-3 thriller sent the entire Tienmu Municipal Stadium rocking as the defending champs rallied from a three-run deficit to win a wild Game 6 to clinch the 2003 Taiwan Series.

The Elephants overcame a determined Bulls club that desperately looked to follow up Thursday night's dramatic Game 5 comeback victory.

And it seemed that the Bulls were well on their way, striking first with a three-run fourth inning capped by third baseman Chang Tai-shan's (張泰山) towering two-run homer off of Elephant starter Yokota Hisanori.

Trailing for only the second time in the series, the Elephants went to work on Bulls starter Yu Wen-pin (余文彬) in the bottom of the fifth, putting runners, who happen to be brothers, on first and second with one out on Chen Rei-cheng's (陳瑞振) single to left-center and Chen Rei-chang (陳瑞昌), infield single to short.

Osvaldo Martinez of the Bulls took the mound in relief for Yu and loaded the bases by allowing Elephant left fielder Lin Ming-shien to hit another infield single. Martinez would strike out the next batter for the second out of the inning to bring up "Golden Warrior" Chen Chih-yuan (陳致遠) to the plate with the bases still loaded.

Living up to his regular-season RBI title, Chen slapped a sharp grounder through the left side of the infield, scoring two runs to cut the Bulls' lead to 3-2.

"I knew we had to make it count, because the Bulls don't give you that many chances," Chen said.

A dropped fly ball to deep right by the Bull's right fielder Kao Chien-lung (高建龍) got an Elephants' runner on base in the sixth inning and third baseman Chen Huai-shan's (陳懷山) sacrifice fly to left allowed a run to score and tied the game up at three all.

The score would remain tied for the next three innings as the Bulls missed two great scoring opportunities in the seventh and the ninth innings, stranding runners on second in both innings, thanks to outstanding relief pitching by Elephant right-hander Wang Ching-li (王勁力).

Wang entered the game in the seventh inning and held the Bulls hitless en route to his second straight title-clinching victory. He was the winning pitcher in last season's title game against the Chinatrust Whales.

"My off-speed pitches weren't locating well, so I went with my fastball as much as I could," Wang said after the game. "It had enough tailspin on it today, so I didn't have to worry about it being hit out of the park,"

For the Bulls, ace closer Ramon Morel was spectacular in two innings of relief pitching before yielding a leadoff single in the bottom of the 10th.

Rookie sensation Yang Chien-fu was able to strike out two batters in relief for Morel, but a wild pitch and walk that put the runners on first and second proved to be fatal.

Tsai Fong-an came through for the Elephants with his magical late-inning heroics, ending the otherwise outstanding season for the Bulls.

It was the Elephants' second "threepeat," giving them a record-high total of six championships and moving the nation's most-popular team to celebrity status.

"This is another dynasty in the making," Lin Yi-tseng (林易增) said after the champagne-drenched Elephant skipper was tossed in the air by his players after the game.

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