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.
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Fighters beat La New Bears 1-0