Wang Chuan-jia's game-winning RBI single, coupled with La New outfielder Lu Jung-hsiung's costly two-run dropped ball in the bottom of the ninth, helped the Macoto Cobras complete a four-run rally to beat the Bears 8-7 in Tienmu in dramatic fashion on Sunday night.
Trailing 7-4 against the first-half champs, the Cobras were on the verge of dropping their third game in the four-game series against their former Taiwan Major League rivals heading into the final frame.
But somehow, the diehard serpents managed to muster one last offensive that saw outfielder Chou Si-chi leading off the bottom of the ninth with a single to right off Bears closer Ramon Morel, before two wild pitches and a walk issued by Morel and a single by Kao Wei plated the first of four runs in the inning for the Cobras.
Lu's two-out drop on a routine flyball by Chen Chih-pong that would have ended the game instead scored both runners for the Cobras, setting the stage for Wang's game-winning swing.
"It was a tough day to play in the outfield with the wind swirling all over the place," La New outfielder Tseng Hehn-chang explained in defense of Lu's devastating miscue.
The game began with the Bears jumping to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first, when shortstop Lin Chih-sheng's sacrifice fly scored leadoff man Shih Chih-wei.
The Bears added three more runs in the fourth on catcher Chen Fong-min's two-run double, before outfielder Tseng Hao-jui's run-scoring single made it 4-1 in favor of the visiting Bears.
Macoto answered with three runs of their own over the next two innings to even things up at 4-4, before the Bears regained a 7-4 lead in the sixth with Shih's bases-clearing three-run double.
Five different Bears hitters had multi-hit games on the day, headed by Shih's 3-for-5 effort with three RBIs.
Cobras reliever Chang Hsien-chih faced one La New batter in the ninth to pick up the unexpected win, his sixth of the year.? Equally unexpected was the loss borne by Morel, who fell victim to Lu's error while suffering his first blown save of the year.
The win by Macoto salvaged a 2-2 series split against the Bears for the Cobras, as they improved to 8-6 for the second half of the season to trail the Bears by just one-and-a-half games in the standings.
Elephants 7, Lions 4
Back-to-back RBI doubles by Chen "Golden Warrior" Chih-yuan and rookie slugger Chen Guan-ren sparked a three-run seventh for the Brother Elephants as they broke a 4-4 tie against the President Lions to win the game by a final score of 7-4 at Sinjhuang on Sunday.
After the visiting Elephants drew first blood in the first inning on Chen Guan-ren's liner up the middle for a 1-0 lead, the big cats responded in the second with four straight runs, highlighted by third baseman Shih Jin-dien's two-run single off Brother starter Wu Bao-shien.
Down 4-1, the Elephants chipped away at the Lions' lead with two runs in the fourth, before knotting things up on Chen Guan-ren's second RBI single of the day in the top of the fifth.
Veteran right-hander Wang Jing-li pitched three scoreless innings of one-hit relief for the win to improve to 2-1 for the year, beating his counterpart Chang Chih-chiang of the Lions, who remained winless at 0-2 from his middle-innings reliever's role.
With Chen Guan-ren's 3-for-5 effort, the rookie lefty swinger overtook the league's lead in batting with a .360 mark.