Sun, Sep 03, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Late-inning fireworks key to Elephants victory

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Wang Jin-yong's game-tying two-run double followed by Chen Guan-ren's game-winning single -- all with two out -- capped a three-run ninth inning as the Brother Elephants overcame an eight-run deficit to beat the President Lions by a final score of 10-9 in Sinjhuang on Friday night for their first win in 14 games.

Trailing 9-1 at the seventh-inning stretch, the Elephants began their biggest comeback of the year with a run in the bottom of the seventh and then sent 10 men to the plate in a five-run eighth to cut the once-commanding Lions lead to 9-7 heading into the bottom of the final frame.

After two quick outs, the Elephants were able to draw a pair of walks against Tseng Chih-cheng, the President's top closer, to load the bases for Wang's game-tying swing before Chen clinched it in the end.

The game began with the Elephants jumping to a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on Chen "the Golden Warrior" Chih-yuan's solo homer off Lions starter Hansel Izquierdo. The cats answered with nine straight runs over the next five innings to claim a 9-1 advantage.

Brother reliever Wang Jin-li pitched a scoreless ninth for the win, beating Tseng in a rare blown save as the league's premier closer -- Tseng is tied with the Sinon Bulls' Kuo Yong-chih for the league's lead with 16 saves -- suffered his second defeat of the season.

Winless since Aug. 6, the dramatic triumph by the Elephants might just be what they needed to turn the sinking ship around after netting only 3 wins to go with 14 losses last month.

Lions 4, Elephants 1

Three unearned runs by the Lions in a dreadful seventh inning broke a 1-1 tie as they capitalized on a throwing error by Elephants catcher Kuo Yi-fong to run away with a 4-1 win in Luodong on Thursday evening.

The disheartening loss sent the hapless Elephants to a record-setting 13th straight loss, topping the previous mark of 12 that they shared with the 2004 La New Bears.

Thursday's contest started with each team scoring a run in the third inning via RBI singles by each of the teams' second basemen -- the Lions' Yang Seng and the Elephants' Fong Sheng-shien.

That was all the scoring that either offense managed to produce against the fine pitching of starters Tsao Jung-yang (Lions) and Chuck Smith (Elephants) through six innings of play before the Lions blew it open in the seventh.

Tsao was credited with his third win of the season on six innings of quality work, allowing the lone Elephants run on five hits while fanning three and walking a pair.

Equally impressive in his ninth straight quality start -- defined as allowing three or fewer earned runs in at least six innings pitched -- was Smith, who suffered his fifth loss in a row by allowing four runs (only one earned) on six hits.

Whales 6, Bulls 4

Aided by five rare walks in a four-run fifth, the Chinatrust Whales cooled off the previously red-hot Sinon Bulls with a 6-4 win in Taichung on Friday night to avenge a 10-5 loss in Douliou on Thursday.

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