Sun, Jul 18, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Rookies give amateurs a lesson in how to get hits

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Shih Chih-wei (石志偉) and Lin Chih-sheng (林智盛) showed their amateur brethrens the big league difference as the rookie bashing tandem of the La New Bears lit up the Hsinchuang sky with a combined 7-for-8 performance in the first ever Future All-Star Game on Friday night.

The contest between the top rookies in Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League (Team Read) and the best amateurs currently playing in the minor-league system (Team White) was won by Team Red in a 12-7 final.

Shih's perfect 4-for-4 night made him the runaway MVP winner. The Bears' first-round draft choice is enjoying a fine rookie season with a team-high .283 batting average and 30 RBI.

His 71 hits so far place him third in the league, behind Brother Elephants' hitting machines Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-ming (彭政閔) with 90 and Chen "the Golden Warrior" Chih-yuan (陳致遠) with 73.

"I'm grateful to the veteran hitters on the team for showing me a lot of their techniques," Shih said in the post-game interview. "I wouldn't have improved as much and as quickly if it weren't for them."

He took home a crystal trophy on top of a check for NT$100,000.

Lin missed hitting for the cycle by a home run, as the first-year shortstop belted a single, a double, and a rare triple off three different Team White pitchers that had fans chanting "Lin Chih-sheng, home run!" during his entire final at-bat.

"I guess I was trying too hard in the fourth-and-final at-bat to get the cycle," Lin said after the game. "It was, nonetheless, a great experience."

Team Red jumped to a 8-0 lead after two frames against starter Cheng Jia-ming (鄭嘉明) of Team White, before the amateurs scored seven third-inning runs against Chinatrust Whales reliever Luo Jien-ming (羅建銘) to make it 8-7.

Red relievers Wu Sih-yo (吳偲佑), Hsu Yu-wei (徐余偉) and Wang Guo-jing (王國進) combined to blank the younger Team White the rest of the way.

Budding Bear talent Tsai Jien-wei (蔡建偉), Chang Ming-jeh (張民傑) and Tseng Hern-chang (曾恆彰), whose six hits in addition to the seven by Shih and Lin accounted for 13 of Team Red's total of 19.

"With this kind of talent waiting to explode, this team [the Bears] could be very dangerous as soon as next season," baseball commentator Tseng Wen-cheng (曾文誠) said.

Heavy thunderstorms earlier in the afternoon caused the home-run contest to be cancelled.

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