Sinon Bulls reliever Yang Chien-fu (
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.
PHOTO: LU CHUN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES
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 (
Trailing for only the second time in the series, the Elephants went to work on Bulls starter Yu Wen-pin (
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 (
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 (
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 (
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 (
"It's a tough way to end a season, but I am very proud of our guys," a disappointed Bulls' manager Chen Wei-cheng (
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