Chen Chin-fong's monstrous two-run blast over the leftfield wall off reliever Kuo Yong-chih broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 10th as the La New Bears overcame a late-game deficit to top the Sinon Bulls 5-3 in their series opener in Kaohsiung on Tuesday night.
The former major leaguer also went deep earlier in the game with a solo shot off Sinon starter Alfredo Gonzalez to give him two homers and three RBIs for the game, upping his league-leading totals in the two offensive categories to 17 homers and 56 RBIs for the season.
The contest began with the defending champs bullying their way to score a pair of runs off La New staff ace Kenny Rayborn in the top of the fifth on shortstop Chang "Red Monkey" Jia-hao's RBI groundout and Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan's one-run single.
But the 2-0 Bulls lead would last only an inning as the Bears answered in the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back solo home runs by shortstop Lin Chih-sheng and Chen to force a 2-all tie.
After a scoreless seventh and eighth, Sinon managed to score its third run of the game on a poor throw to the plate by Bears third-baseman Shih Chih-wei for a 3-2 lead, only to see Shih redeem himself promptly with a two-out, opposite-field single that knocked in the tying run for the Bears to send the game into extra innings.
Picking up his first win of the year from his closer's role was Ramon Morel, who tossed almost two innings of perfect relief against his former club.
As for the Bulls, Kuo was tagged with the loss for serving up Shih's game-tying single in a blown save opportunity and Chen's eventual game-winner.
Elephants 6, Cobras 3
The Brother Elephants doubled up on the Macoto Cobras in a 6-3 decision at Hsinchu on Wednesday night with sound pitching and outstanding hitting with men in scoring position to extend their winning streak to three straight.
Despite allowing the Cobras to strike first in the top of the second when cleanup hitter Hsieh "the Ugly" Jia-shien led off the inning with a standup double and scored one out later on second baseman Deng Shih-yang's infield single, the Elephants dominated the game by scoring at least one run in five different innings.
After third baseman Yang Bo-ren's RBI single off Macoto starter Chang Hsien-chih in the bottom of the second evened the game at 1-1, the Elephants put up a run in the fourth, fifth and sixth to open a 4-1 lead before buzzing the Cobras staff with two more runs in the seventh on first baseman Wang Jin-yong's two-run dinger off reliever Felix Villegas of Puerto Rico.
Hsieh's solo homer off Brother reliever Wang Jing-li leading off the ninth, followed by a failed pickoff attempt by Wang that scored the Cobras runner all the way from second, made the final score of an otherwise lopsided game somewhat respectable.
All six of the Elephants' runs came on the clutch hitting of a lineup that went a combined 5-for-11 with men in scoring position against three different Macoto hurlers, with Yang and rookie slugger Chen Guan-ren each connecting for three hits in the game.
The decent run support provided by his offense gave Brother starter Liu Jung-nan his first victory in nearly three months, as he finally won his third game of the season after seven starts, during which he carried a solid 3.46 earned run average with a 0-4 record.