Thu, Jul 19, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Elephants wrest win from Whales

NAILBITER While the Elephants held on to defeat the Whales 8-7 in the 11th inning on Tuesday, the Cobras fell 8-2 to the Bears in their fourth loss in five games

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Ivanon Coffie of the Macoto Cobras slides into second base safely under the tag of La New Bears third baseman Shi Chih-wei in Tuesday night's game in Luodong.

PHOTO: LIN CHENG-KUNG

Huang Cheng-wei's clutch single coupled with a costly throwing error by Hsu Ren-jeh scored both runners from first and second in the top of the 11th for the Brother Elephants as they held on to beat the Chinatrust Whales 8-7 in Chiayi on Tuesday night, snapping a two-game losing skid.

The second-year outfielder, who was promoted to the starting role at the start of the season in place of an injured Chen "Golden Warrior" Chih-yuan, has transitioned nicely into his starting role by hitting a respectable .287 and, more impressively, committing just one error in 108 chances to lead the threesome in the Elephants outfield.

Tuesday night's contest saw the visiting Elephants jump to a quick 3-0 advantage against Whales starter Nee Fu-deh on an RBI single by Chen Guan-ren and a two-run double by Chen Rei-cheng in the top of the first.

The lead would last exactly one inning as the Whales answered with a three-run second of their own on the strength of a bases-loaded walk drawn by Hsu and Gee Jung-lin's two-run single, also with the bases loaded.

The Elephants promptly reclaimed a 4-3 lead with a run in the third on Antonio Alvarez's one-run single before adding another run in the fourth courtesy of Chen Jian-ho's RBI double, all off a struggling Nee.

After the two teams traded a run each over the next two innings to make it 6-4 in favor of the Elephants, it was the Whales who managed to score twice in the seventh by leading off the inning with back-to-back extra-base hits off reliever Todd Moser for a run before scraping off another on an RBI groundout by Wang Jung-ren to knot things up in a 6-all draw and eventually sending the game into extra innings for the dramatic finish.

Picking up the win for the Elephants was reliever Wang Jing-li, who improved to 4-2 for the year with three innings of scoreless relief on a pair of hits.

Suffering the disappointing loss was Wang's counterpart Kevin Tolar, who was in line for the win when the Whales nearly scored a walk-off run in the bottom of the 10th.

Cheng Chang-ming was gunned down at the plate by the Elephants' Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-min, whose one-hopper beat the runner from second by a mile to keep the tie intact.

Instead, the US lefty was dealt his second loss of the year to even his record at 2-2.

Bears 8, Cobras 2

The La New Bears dealt the Macoto Cobras their fourth loss in five games with an 8-2 road win over the first-half champs in Luodong on Tuesday evening to start the week with a big bang.

Randy Leek threw five innings of one-run ball on six hits in his best outing of the season by far to record his first victory in Taiwan in six game appearances.

After losing his first three starts as a Bear, the US southpaw's future with the defending champs seemed bleak as he was demoted to bullpen duties for two games prior to Tuesday's start.

The two games spent in the Bears bullpen might have helped Leek as he was a different man on Tuesday with one run allowed in five innings to drop his ERA from 5.89 to 5.01.

The Bears hitters wasted little time against their former Taiwan Major League brethren by scoring a pair of runs in the opening inning on a defensive error by the Cobras and a run-scoring triple by Lin Chih-sheng.

After the Cobras got a run back in the second with Chen Yuan-jia's sacrifice fly to make it 2-1, it was all Bears as they erupted for six unanswered runs to put this one away long before the final out.

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