Records shattered all over the Douliou County Baseball Stadium on Tuesday as the La New Bears trounced the Sinon Bulls in a 17-7 slaughter to end their recent three-game losing skid.
The Kaohsiung-based league leaders set four different single-game team marks offensively with 17 runs, 35 total bases and three triples. They also sent a total of 55 batters to the plate on a night that they roughed up five different Sinon pitchers with 20 base hits.
The game actually started with the Bulls holding a 2-1 lead after the first two innings before a sudden downpour halted play in the third for nearly an hour.
After play resumed, the Bears batters went to work right away with five straight base hits off Yang Jien-fu for five runs, highlighted by shortstop Lin Chih-sheng's three-run home run, to chase the Bulls starter, before they tagged on three more runs off reliever Yu Wen-pin for a total of eight runs in the inning to take a 9-2 lead.
Yu held off the Bears in a scoreless fourth and fifth before running into a world of trouble in the sixth that had the Bears roaring for four more runs on the strength of two singles, a double, and two triples to make it 13-3 at that point.
The Bears would conclude all the scoring with a four-run eighth in the 17-7 rout, giving lefty ace Wu Si-yo an easy win to tie him with fellow teammate Kenny Rayborn for the league's lead in total victories at seven. Wu surrendered three runs (two earned) on five hits in as many innings to remain undefeated for the year at 7-0.
Taking the ugly loss for Sinon was Yang, who dropped to 3-5 for the year with an ERA of 5.04.
Seven La New players had multi-hit games, led by Lin and Chen Chin-fong's 3-for-6 nights with four RBIs apiece on a night the baseball seemed larger than a softball to them.
Bulls 6, Bears 5
The Bulls avenged Tuesday night's lopsided loss with a narrow 6-5 win in Wednesday's rain-delayed contest that featured a stellar performance by game-MVP first baseman Hsu Guo-long.
The second-year slugger out of the Chinese Culture University hit a bases-clearing double off La New starter Tsai Ying-fong in the bottom of the third to help put the Bulls ahead 4-0, and came through with a clutch single in the seventh to knock in the game-winning run for his team, accounting for four of the six runs in the Sinon win.
The Bulls appeared well on their way for an easy win with American righty Clint Weibl keeping the Bears bats relatively quiet through the first four frames, with a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth. But the Bears lineup was able to switch to another gear offensively with a five-run fifth on five singles and a double off Weibl to knot things up at 5-all, thanks to Lin, Chen and Canadian swinger Todd Betts, who buzzed Weibl with three consecutive run-scoring hits for four of the five Bears runs in the inning. The Bears could have actually taken a lead in the inning if it were not for Betts' attempt to stretch a single into a double that had him tagged out at second to end the inning.
The base running error by Betts proved to be critical as the Bears failed to produce another run in the game against three different Sinon relievers to lose by a run on Hsu's game-winner in the seventh.
Alfredo Gonzalez of the Dominican Republics was credited with the win for his 1-2/3 innings of perfect relief. The regular starter for the Bulls upped his victory total to a league-best seven in a rare relief appearance, while his counterpart Hsu Wen-hsiung suffered the tough loss, despite pitching 4-2/3 innings of two-hit ball to rescue Tsai.