Sun, Jul 24, 2005 - Page 23 News List

CPBL

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTERE

The 2005 Chinese Professional Baseball League All-Star weekend kicked off in Kaohsiung on Friday with fans flocking to the southern city.

This year's mid-summer classic began with Friday's Big Five Challenge Competition and the annual All-Star Futures Game between two All-Star Futures teams, consisting of the top rookies and minor leaguers from the Brother Elephants, the Chinatrust Whales, the Macoto Cobras (Team Red) and the President Lions, the La New Bears, and the Sinon Bulls (Team White), followed by yesterday's CPBL All-Star Game.

The Big Five Challenge began with the Home Run Derby between the two All-Star Futures squads where top Elephants talent Chen Guan-ren belted five homers in seven chances to beat Hsu Guo-long of the Bears (homerless in all seven attempts), giving Team Red an early 1-0 lead.

Round 2 of the five-part competition (fastest pitch) was won by the Bears Lin Jin-pin with a fastball topping 144kph. He defeated Chen Yong-tseh (136kph) of the Cobras to even things up at 1-1 for Team White.

Chang Yu-bao of the Bears then gave Team White a 2-1 lead by winning the base-stealing contest when he beat out a throw by Team Red's catcher Wang Jung-ren.

Round 4 of the competition tested an outfielder's ability to make an accurate throw back to the home plate and was won by the trio from Team Red (Huang Cheng-wei, Tseng Hsin-kwei and Chen Chi-hong), who outperformed Yu Shien-ming, Kuo Dai-chi, and Chang Yu-bao on Team White, tying the overall score at 2-2.

An early dropped handoff in the final base-running relay competition put Team White in a hole, making it easy for Team Red to win the final round and the overall competition 3-2.

Team White then avenged the defeat in the Big Five Challenge by taking the ensuing All-Star Futures Game 10-4.

The Team White lineup greeted Team Red starter Chuang Hong-liang of the Elephants with a three-run first inning that included two walks and three base hits.

Chuang retired only one batter before being relieved by the Cobras' Lin En-yu, who promptly got his team out of a jam by inducing Team White to hit into a double play to end the top of first inning.

After Team Red answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first off Team White starter Lin Yueh-pin (Lions) to cut the lead to 3-2, it was all Team White as they rang up seven more runs, highlighted by a five-run seventh against reliever Liao Yu-cheng of the Elephants.

Even though Team Red scored two more runs in the ninth inning, it was too little too late.

Chuang was tagged with the loss for surrendering the first-inning runs while Team White reliever Lin Cheng-fong (Lions) pocketed the victory for tossing two scoreless innings of one-hit relief.

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