Fri, Sep 22, 2006 - Page 24 News List

Bulls and Cobras slip up

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Macoto Cobras shortstop Kuo Ming-jen grimaces in frustration after being tagged out at first base in the first inning of Tuesday's game.

PHOTO: CHAN CHAO-YANG, TAIPEI TIMES

Late-game defensive miscues led to a pair of unusual wins in the Chinese Professional Baseball League on Wednesday night with the La New Bears beating the Sinon Bulls on a wild pitch that scored the game-winning run and the Brother Elephants edging past the Macoto Cobras.

The contest between the Bears and the Bulls in Kaohsiung was decided on Yang Jien-fu's wild pitch with two outs that scored the runner from third for the game-winner in the bottom of the eleventh to clinch the 3-2 win for the home Bears.

With league rules not permitting the start of a new inning in the extra session after three-and-a-half hours of play, the game would have ended on a 2-2 tie had the Bulls been able to come up with the final out.

Instead, Yang's wild pitch gift-wrapped the 28th win of the second half for the league leaders.

The game began with the visiting Bulls striking first in the top of the fourth when Huang Chung-yi knocked in the runner on third -- despite grounding into a double play -- to give the Bulls an early 1-0 lead.

Chiang Chih-tsong's one-run single off Sinon starter Alfredo Gonzalez an inning later promptly tied things up at 1-all before Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan's leadoff homer in the top of the seventh helped the Bulls reclaim a 2-1 advantage.

The 2-1 Sinon lead would last less than an inning as the Bulls answered in the bottom of the seventh on a come-back by catcher Chen Fong-min that scored the tying run from third.

Neither team was able to produce another run in the game until the Bulls faltered in the end on Yang's wild pitch that sailed wide.

La New closer Ramon Morel picked up his second win of the year with three shutout innings of relief against his former club, beating Yang, who also pitched effectively in holding a potent Bears lineup scoreless for three frames before letting loose a pitch that cost him the game.

Elephants 3, Cobras 2

Three unearned runs by the Elephants in the game-deciding seventh erased a 0-1 deficit to the Cobras as the men in gold prevailed in a 3-2 decision at Taichung for their second win of the week.

Rookie starter Chang Hsien-chih pitched effectively by taking a three-hit shutout into the seventh, before a pair of fielding errors by the Cobras defense led to three unearned runs for the Elephants and turned a 1-0 lead for the Cobras into a 1-3 deficit.

Macoto would muster a run off Elephants reliever Chuang Wei-chuan in the top of the ninth, when Australian slugger Thomas Brice reached on an infield single and advanced to third on a wild pitch and a sharp single by Wang Chuan-jia, before scoring on Chiou Chang-rong's sacrifice fly that made it 3-2 in favor of the Elephants.

That was as close as the Cobras got as Chuang struck out the final Cobras batter to secure the win for his second save of the season.

Outpitching Chang for the win with seven-and-two-third innings of one-hit ball was Elephants starter Liu Jung-nan, who won for only the fourth time this year.

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