Thu, Nov 11, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Lions roar back with grand slams

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Kao Guo-ching of the Lions after hitting a grand slam against the Bulls during Game 3 of the Taiwan Series in Taichung, Tuesday night. The Bulls won the game 14-5.

PHOTO: CPBL

Game-MVP Luo Ming-ching (羅敏卿) and fellow hitter Kao Guo-ching (高國慶) each blasted a grand slam for the President Lions in their overwhelming 14-5 win over the Sinon Bulls in Taichung in Tuesday night's Game 3 of the Chinese Professional Baseball League's Taiwan Series.

The victory breathed new life into the once-troubled Lions that were out-scored and out-hit by a combined margin of 2-to-7 and 7-to-23, respectively, in the first two games of the series, as they cut the Bulls' lead to 2-1 in this year's best-of-seven Fall Classic.

Kao's five-RBI night tied him with teammate Wang Chuan-jia (王傳家) for most RBIs by a player in a single game.

Wang knocked home five runs in Game 3 of the 2001 Taiwan Series between the Lions and eventual champs, the Brother Elephants.

The rookie slugger from the Taiwan National College of Physical Education crushed a belt-high pitch from the Bulls' second reliever of the game, Yang Ren-ming (楊仁明), deep into the right-field stands in the top of the fourth inning to give the big cats a commanding 11-0 lead.

Making up for their lack of offense in the first two games, the Lions went to work early against Bulls starter Kuo Yung-chih (郭勇志) on offense by doubling their total run production over the first two games (2) with Luo's grand slam in the top of the first for a quick 4-0 lead.

Three more runs would cross the plate during the second and third inning, highlighted by Lions' third baseman Wu Jia-rong's (吳佳榮) run-scoring liner to shallow center to make it 7-0 before Kao's grand slam in the fourth.

The hosts finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning with center fielder Chang Jien-ming's (張建銘) two-run blast off Lions' starter Donald Lemon before adding a pair of runs in the seventh, this time, on captain Huang "Brother Tung" Chung-yi's (黃忠義) two-run blast to dead-center.

Five different Lions' relievers were sent to the mound after winning pitcher Lemon retired in the fifth inning as manager Hsieh Chang-hern (謝長亨) gave members of his deep pitching staff a chance to see game action in the lopsided victory.

It was not the same Bulls' squad that had stampeded the Lions' den in the first two games of the Taiwan Series.

"A loss is a loss, whether it's by one run or by a dozen runs," Bulls skipper Liu Rong-hua (劉榮華) said after the game. "The Lions are too good a team offensively to be held down for a third straight game.

There is still plenty of work left to be done."

For those keeping a close eye on postseason statistics, Luo Ming-ching of the Lions tied the Bulls' Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan (張泰山) for most career hits in the championship series at 44 with his three-hit effort in Game 3.

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