Mon, Nov 13, 2006 - Page 20 News List

La New Bears squeeze past Samsung Lions


La New Bears Lin Chih-sheng is congratulated by teammates after he hit a solo home run against the Samsung Lions in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday.


Lin Chih-sheng's solo homer over the leftfield wall off Samsung Lions reliever Lim Chang-Yong snapped a two-all tie for the La New Bears as they overcame a two-run deficit to edge past South Korea's Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) champs in a 3-2 decision at the 2006 Konami Cup Asia Series in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday night.

"I knew it [was gone] the second I hit it," an overjoyed Lin said after the game of his game-winning homer.

His bullpen also came through with the game on the line by holding the Lions scoreless over the final three frames, unlike Friday night's heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Japan's Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, in which the Bears blew a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning.

Bears starter Wu Si-yo got into trouble right away in a shaky first inning in which he allowed a single and two walks to load the bases with two outs. But the lefty ace for the Bears managed to escape with an inning-ending strikeout before settling in to retire the side over the next two innings.

More impressive than Wu was Lions starter Jamie Brown of the US, who allowed a lone single to the Bears' Chen Chin-fong through the first three innings of a classic pitchers' duel.

The early wildness that troubled Wu would return in the top of the fourth, only this time the Lions made him pay with Yang Joon-Hyuk's two-run homer off Wu putting them 2-0 ahead.

Trailing by a deuce, the Bears offense quickly responded to tie the game up with two runs of their own through Chen's two-run single off Brown -- this after the Lions starter had allowed a leadoff single and a clean double to the Bears' Yu Jin-deh and Lin respectively -- to set the table for Chen's clutch swing.

After a scoreless fifth, the Bears attack roared once more on Lin's second extra-base hit of the game, a monstrous homer to deep-left that gave the Bears a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.

Down by a run with time running out, the Lions were able to put at least one runner on in the seventh, eighth, and ninth, against Bears relievers Hsu Chih-hua (in the seventh) and Ramon Morel (eighth and ninth).

But failure to come up with the clutch hits left the Lions empty-handed on all three occasions, as they suffered a second loss in the three-game preliminaries to end up with a third-place finish this year.

Claiming the nail-biting win was Bears reliever Huang Jung-chung, who recorded one out on two pitches against the only batter he faced, thanks to the three combined innings of shutout relief by Hsu and Morel that secured the win.

also see story:

Fighters beat La New Bears 1-0

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