Wang Chuan-jia's lining single to the right-center gap in the bottom of the 10th scored the game-winner for the Macoto Cobras as they overcame a two-run deficit in the ninth to beat the President Lions 5-4 in an extra inning at Hsinchu on Wednesday night.
The 34-year-old veteran slugger, who played in his 1,000th career game on Wednesday, made sure his former club (he was released by the Lions after last season) realized the impact of letting him go by going 2-for-5 in the game with a leadoff solo home run in the fourth and the game-winning hit in the 10th in a game-MVP performance.
Amaury Garcia's two-out blooper to left off Lions closer Tseng Yi-cheng that could not be fielded by leftfielder Yang Song-hsuen, who slipped on the wet field during the play, was ruled a double that scored the Cobras' first run of the inning. Then came pinch-hitter Chen Keh-fang's one-run single that scored another run to tie the game at four-all.
The contest began on a slippery field with the Lions scoring three quick runs in the opening inning on back-to-back RBI doubles by outfielders Lin "Wild Hog" Hong-yuan and Kuo Dai-chi off Macoto rookie starter Chang Hsien-chih.
The Cobras would get one run back in the bottom of the first on cleanup man Hsieh "the Ugly" Jia-shien's run-scoring double to make it 3-1 in favor of the Lions.
After Wang's fourth-inning solo blast cut the Lions lead to 3-2, the Lions would tag on what seemed like an insurance run in the top of the ninth off Lee, setting the table for the Cobras' game-tying two-run rally and the eventual triumph.
Reliever Lee Ming-chin was credited with the win for tossing two innings of one-run ball on a pair of singles in his first victory of the season, while Lions closer Tseng took the tough loss for surrendering the three straight runs on six hits in blowing his first save of the year.
Whales 8, Bears 4 Whales 2, Bears 1
The Chinatrust Whales opened their four-game visit to the La New Bears in Kaohsiung with a pair of sound victories earlier this week, starting with Tuesday night's 8-4 win before edging past the league-leaders in a 2-1 decision on Wednesday.
Four ninth-inning runs by the marine creatures negated what had been a valiant comeback by the Bears to force a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth, as Chinatrust doubled up on the home Bears in the 8-4 final on Tuesday.
First baseman Pan Chung-wei's ill-advised throw to third on a sacrifice bunt attempt by the Whales scored both runners before Wang Yi-min's one-run double and a wild pitch by Bears reliever Lin Shih-chin tagged on two more runs to up the Whales lead to four.
Pan ended up being the goat for the game, even though it was his solo homer in the bottom of the eighth that brought the Bears back from down a run to force a 4-4 tie at the time.
Dominican set-up man Edwin Minaya earned his first win of the season for pitching two innings of one-run relief.
He actually failed to convert a save opportunity for allowing Pan's game-tying homer in the eighth before the offense bailed him out with the ninth-inning runs to gift wrap the win for him.
Three costly errors by the Bears ultimately led to five unearned runs for the Whales, dropping the Bears' lead over the second-place Brother Elephants to only two games in the standings.
Wednesday's game featured a classic pitchers' duel between the Whales' Tseng Jau-hao and April's Pitcher of the Month, Kenny Rayborn of the Bears.