Fri, Sep 02, 2005 - Page 22 News List

Tong gives Whales edge against Bears

HEARTBREAKERS The Whales snapped their losing skid at three games on Monday, only to be fooled by a lazy fly ball from Bears reliever Hsu Chih-hua on Tuesday

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Whales slugger Tong Tsung-hui keeps his eye on the ball in the Whales' 5-3 come-from-behind win over the La New Bears in Kaohsiung on Monday. Tong's two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth decided the game in the Whales' favor.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE CHINATRUST WHALES

Tong Tsung-hui's two-run home run off La New Bears starter Wu Sih-yo capped off a four-run ninth that rallied the Chinatrust Whales past the Bears in a 5-3 win at Kaohsiung on Monday night. It was the second game in a row that the Bears failed to protect a ninth-inning lead, dropping back-to-back heartbreakers on the games' final at-bats.

The continuation of a rain-suspended contest from Aug. 20 began from the third inning with the score tied at 0-0 and remained scoreless until the top of the fifth, when Bears cleanup man Pan Chung-wei got his team on the board with an RBI groundout before designated hitter Wang Jien-chiang followed with a two-run triple to give the Bears a 3-0 lead.

Whales catcher Shih Jin-sho quickly answered with a solo blast to deep-left off Wu in the bottom of the fifth to get his team within a deuce of the Bears.

Trailing the Bears 3-1, Shih would strike again two outs into the bottom of the ninth with a two-run double that knotted things up at 3-all for the Whales before Tong's late-game heroics ultimately clinched the win.

The win snapped the Whales' losing skid at three games and cooled off the red-hot Bears with just their second loss in the past 11 games.

Reliever Dario Veras pitched only two-thirds of an inning in the ninth for his sixth win of the year, while Wu suffered his third loss of the season for his inability to put the away opposition with the game on the line.

Bears 4, Whales 2

Bears reliever Hsu Chih-hua made sure his team's two straight late-game collapses would end on Tuesday as he induced a lazy fly ball to shallow-left with two on for the final out of the game, thus preserving a 4-2 Bears victory.

The makeup game at Pingtung between the Bears and the Whales started with the visiting Bears striking first in the top of the second when Whales leftfielder Chen Wen-pin dropped a would-be inning-ending routine fly that scored the runner from third.

After the Whales countered with a run of their own to tie the game up at 1-all in the bottom of the third on shortstop Cheng Chang-ming's RBI single, the hot-hitting Bears lineup regained the lead with a three-run fourth, highlighted with outfielder Tseng Hern-chang's solo homer off Whales starter Scott Sobkowiak.

Game-winner Lee Fong-hua pitched four-hit ball in seven spectacular frames for the Bears before turning a 4-1 lead to setup man Hsu Wen-hsiung, who cruised through a perfect eighth before running into trouble in the ninth that brought in Hsu Chih-chiang.

US righty Sobkowiak was tagged with the loss for allowing three runs (only one earned) on six hits over 3-1/3 innings of work. The 28-year-old out of the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League (US Independent Leagues) was called in by the Whales to provide some experience and stability to a staff that had a league-worst ERA of 4.93 in July, that had placed them in the bottom of the standings ever since.

Bulls 3, Lions 0

Panamanian newcomer Jorge Cortez made his Taiwanese debut a big splash with 6-2/3 innings of shutout ball for the Sinon Bulls on Tuesday en route to a 3-0 win over the President Lions in Tainan.

Leadoff man Yu Shien-ming lined in the first run of the contest for the Bulls in the top of the fifth off Lions starter Jose Espinal before a passed ball by Espinal that scored the runner from third in the same inning to put the Bulls up 2-0.

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