Sat, Apr 07, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Elephants beat Lions in wild ninth inning

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Liu Keng-shin's two-out single off an exhausted Kao Long-wei scored the game-winning run for the Brother Elephants as they collected six runs in the bottom of the ninth to rally past the President Lions in a wild 11-10 win in Tainan on Thursday night.

Trailing 10-3 after six-and-a-half innings of play, the Elephants rang up eight unanswered runs in the final three innings, powered by the incredible six-run burst against a shorthanded Lions bullpen in the final frame to shock the Lions.

Chen Rei-cheng led off the bottom of the ninth with a clean single up the middle off Kao Long-wei before the rusty closer for the Lions issued back-to-back walks to load up the bases for switch-hitter Chen Huai-shan, who drove in two runs to make it 10-7 with no outs.

After Lee Chih-jeh drew another walk off Kao to reload the bases, Chen Chih-hong would bounce to short for what seemed like a sure out at first.

Instead, the Lions shortstop's throw to home was not in time, allowing the Elephants to score their third run of the inning, with the bases remaining loaded and no outs.

A struggling Kao was forced to remain in the game as the Lions bullpen -- which had already used four relievers in the game prior to sending Kao in to start the bottom of the ninth -- was down to one man, but he would be the starter for the next game.

That meant the path was clear for the Elephants' Chen Jiang-ho crush a liner to shallow-center to knock in the tying runs, setting the stage for Liu's winning hit.

The game began with the Lions scoring three runs in the third and fourth innings off Elephants starter Joey Dowley and reliever Wu Jung-yi, led by Kao Guo-ching's pair of two-run singles, to build a comfortable 6-2 lead after four innings.

The Lions would up their lead to by as many as seven runs with three more in the top of the seventh in a 10-3 game on pinch-hitter Kuo Dai-chi's two-run double and Tilson Brito's one-run single before the Elephants' late-game rally.

Earning the victory for the Elephants was rookie reliever Yeh Ding-ren, who tossed a scoreless ninth for his first career win.

Picking up the loss was Kao Long-wei, who blew a five-run lead by allowing six runs on four hits and three walks in a dismal outing for his second loss of the season.

Bulls 1, Bears 5

Gary Rath pitched eight innings of one-run ball and Chen Chin-fong backed him up with his fourth multi-hit game in five tries with a pair of base hits to lift the La News Bears past the Sinon Bulls by a 5-1 margin in Kaohsiung on Thursday.

The two former major leaguers teamed up to lead the way for the defending champs as they bounced back from a 1-2 record last week to kick off this week's action in style.

After cruising through the first three frames by retiring all but one Bulls hitter, Rath stumbled into a little trouble by allowing the Bulls' lone run in a three-hit fourth.

That was as close as the Bulls got as he calmly regrouped to mesmerize the Bulls by two-hitting them over the next four innings for his second win of the year.

Doing the damage offensively for the Bears were Chen and second-year infielder Jiang Chih-tsong, who combined for five hits and two RBIs to support Rath.

Matching Rath's effort inning-for-inning over the first five innings was Bulls starter Alfredo Gonzalez, who finally let up by allowing three singles in a row to open what ended up being a two-run sixth.

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