Tue, Mar 22, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Lions prey on the Elephants over weekend

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Shaky pitching against a powerful President Lions' lineup dealt the Brother Elephants three straight losses last week, making them the only winless club in the league.

The Elephants pitching staff hasn't been able to win even with the offense averaging over five runs per game.

On opening day, starting pitcher Jonathan Hurst of the US was one throw away from pocketing a win, when the Lions' Israel Alscantara jumped all over a high pitch in the top of the first for a three-run shot in a 5-4 final.

Game 2 starter Harold Woodman had a 3-1 lead when he was pulled after the third inning with an injury.

The Lions quickly cranked up their offense, registering four runs during the fourth inning against reliever Chuang Pei-chuen.

"There is no doubt that we have some holes to fill in our staff, especially if you count out the starters," Hurst said after the game.

"Even though we need to do something about our mid-relief, everyone knows good starting pitching will win you some games in this league."

Whales versus Cobras

The Chinatrust Whales missed a four-game sweep of the Macoto Cobras by one run to finish the week 3-1.

After beating the serpents 3-1 on Tuesday and 9-1 on Wednesday, the Whales fell 2-1 on Friday before coming back strong with an 8-3 win on Saturday.

Friday's contest at Hsinchuang was a pitching duel, with four Cobras pitchers combining to hold the Whales to only four hits for the day.

Whales rookie Du Chang-wei turned in a solid performance in the loss, going the distance -- allowing only two runs on five hits while striking out four and walking four.

The Cobras win was credited to Dominican newcomer Enrique Ramirez, who held the Whales to one run on one hit over five innings, before three relievers were called on to preserve the victory.

BULLS VERSUS BEARS

Inconsistent starting pitching caught up to the Sinon Bulls in their final game of the series against the La New Bears on Sunday, when they were beaten by the Bears 3-1 in the series finale.

The defending champions won 6-2 in Game 1 on Thursday, behind a strong outing by lefty Jeff Andra of the US.

On Saturday, the Bulls eked out a 4-3 win when reliever Kuo Yung-chih bailed out starter Osvaldo Martinez with three innings of relief work that allowed the opposition no runs.

Newly acquired righty Walter Silva of Mexico made sure his Bears would come out ahead against Bulls starter Yu Wen-pin for their first win of the year by shutting down the Bulls' offense with a one-hit effort over seven magnificent innings.

It was not until the top of the ninth inning that the Bulls managed to break up the shutout on Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan's run-scoring line drive up the middle to send teammate Tseng Hua-wei back to home plate for the winning run.

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