Fri, Jul 06, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Bears, Elephants clinch come-from-behind wins

LAST-MINUTE RELIEF The La New Bears overcame a three-run deficit to edge past the red-hot Lions, while the Elephants completed a two-game sweep of the Bulls

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Late-game rallies gave rise to a pair of come-from-behind wins in Wednesday's action around the league, with the La New Bears edging past the President Lions in a 6-5 thriller at Tainan and the Brother Elephants topping the Sinon Bulls 3-2 in Sinjhuang to sweep the two-game series.

Chen Fong-min's RBI single with a man on third capped a four-run ninth as the defending champions overcame a three-run deficit against the red-hot Lions, who had won six of their previous eight, to run away with the 6-5 triumph.

After two scoreless innings, the home Bears struck first in the bottom of the third with Tsai Jien-wei's rare two-run triple off Lions starter Pete Munro for a 2-0 advantage.

The lead would last less than two innings as the visiting Lions responded with a run in the fourth on Kao Chih-kang's run-scoring double before home-run threat Tilson Brito hit his league-leading 20th blast of the year with a runner on to claim a 3-2 lead at that point.

A run-scoring error by the Bears defense in the seventh, followed by Kuo Dai-chi's one-run single in the ninth, upped the Lions lead to 5-2, setting the table for the remarkable Bears comeback.

Tsai Ying-fong was credited with his first win of the year from his newfound relieving role with one-and-a-third inning of work.

The second-year starter-turned-reliever came into the game in the eighth and allowed a run on a pair of hits.

Pocketing the loss for the Lions was Tsai's counterpart Shen Bo-chang, who blew his second save of the year by serving up four runs (all unearned) on three hits in two-thirds innings of play for his second defeat of the season.

Elephants 3, Bulls 2

The Brother Elephants completed a two-game sweep of the Sinon Bulls on Wednesday night by scoring three unanswered runs to beat the Bulls 3-2 in Sinjhuang.

Chen Guan-ren's all-off single with the bases loaded knocked in the game-winner for the Elephants, which further exposed the late-inning relief problem that had troubled the Bulls all season long, as the bullpen blew their eighth save of the season.

The Bulls got off to a decent start with two quick runs off Elephants starter Joey Dawley over the first three frames on RBI singles by Hsu Guo-long and Cheng Da-hong in the first and third respectively.

Antonio Alvarez's solo home run off Sinon starter Yang Jien-fu in the bottom of the fourth quickly halved the Bulls lead to 2-1, and that was all either team could manage until the game-turning ninth.

Trailing by a run, the ninth-inning rally for the Elephants began with Chen Rei-chang reaching first on a pinch-hit single off Sinon reliever Alfredo Gonzalez before he took second on an ensuing walk issued by Gonzalez.

Veteran slugger Lin Ming-shien then came through with a huge two-out single that scored the game-tying run to send the game into extra innings.

The Bulls actually had a golden opportunity to score the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th when Cheng took second on a clean double off Wang Jing-li with one out.

But failure to come up with the timely hit ultimately cost the Bulls the game as they stranded the runner on third, all but handing the game to the Elephants.

Picking up the dramatic win for the Elephants was Wang, who escaped Cheng's double in the top of the 10th unharmed and eventually won the game on Chen Guan-ren's thunderous swing.

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