Tue, May 30, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Cobras stun Elephants in ninth inning

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Hsieh Jia-shien, right, of the Macoto Cobras attempts to steal second with Fong Sheng-shien of the Brother Elephants defending during Chinese Professional Baseball League action in Taitung on Sunday. The Cobras defeated the Elephants 4-1.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CPBL

Wang Chuan-jia's grand slam off the Brother Elephants reliever Chuang Hong-liang capped a seven-run rally in the top of the ninth as the Macoto Cobras beat the Elephants 8-7 in front of a sellout crowd in Hualien on Saturday.

Trailing Brother 6-1 in a game that was all Elephants through the first eight frames, the serpents began the ninth facing Blas Cedeno, the Chinese Professional Baseball League's leader in saves with nine to his credit, with a single by Hsieh "The Ugly" Jia-shien and two quick outs.

The next five Cobras batters reached base via a base hit or a walk to score three runs and load the bases for Wang's monstrous swing that put his team ahead 8-6.

The Elephants made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth when cleanup man Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-min knocked in a run with a lining single off Cobras closer Felix Villegas to cut the lead to one, prompting the Cobras to send Lin "Little Chick" En-yu (the scheduled starter in Sunday's game) into the game, who retired the final Elephants batter on a fly-out to end the game.

"Lin wanted to come in, and I thought for the last out, it was worth it," Cobras manager Wu Fu-lien said after the game about sending his starter for the next game in to preserve the victory.

Set-up man Lee Ming-jin got the win for getting two outs in the eighth, while Lin earned his first save of the season in a rare relief appearance.

Taking the loss for the Elephants was Cedeno, who saw his team drop its fifth straight game, all by two runs or less.

Cobras 4, Elephants 1

Lin En-yu had little trouble in Sunday's series finale in Taitung where the Cobras rode his right arm to their fourth straight win in a 4-1 final.

The Cobras scored a run in each of the first four innings against game-loser Yofu Tstsu, to spot Lin a 4-0 lead that he kept until the bottom of the ninth in a three-hit, complete-game shutout bid.

It took a one-out walk and two singles by the Elephants in the bottom of the ninth for the Elephants' lone run in the game to break up what would have been Lin's third complete-game shutout win of the year.

Offensively for the serpents, Hsieh's two RBIs on a 3-for-5 day led an attack that rang up a dozen hits off a tired Brother staff. Leadoff man Yang Rei-chih also chipped in three hits with an RBI.

Bears 2, bulls 1

Lefty ace Wu Si-yo of the La New Bears remained undefeated for year at 6-0 with a 2-1 win over the Sinon Bulls in a complete-game performance at Kaohsiung on Saturday.

Wu outpitched Bulls righty Clint Weibl of the US in a classic pitchers' duel that had the home hosts drawing first blood in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by outfielder Chen Chin-fong.

The Bulls answered in the top of the fifth inning when catcher Yeh Jung-chang's two-out triple off Wu scored Su Jien-rong all the way from first, only to see the Bears reclaim a 2-1 advantage in the same inning on Shih Chih-wei's RBI double that turned out to be the difference in the game.

Bears center-fielder Huang Long-yi's diving catch with a runner on second and two outs on a blooper by Yeh to end the top of the seventh kept the 2-1 Bears lead intact, because the Bulls would have easily scored the runner on second to force a 2-2 tie at that point.

Weibl (4-3) fell victim to a lack of run support after yet another quality start.

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