Tue, Jul 24, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Team Red capitalizes on errors in All-Star victory

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Four costly errors by the Team White defense that led to four unearned runs in a six-run eighth broke wide open what had been a closely fought battle as Team Red ran away with a wild 11-3 win in the Chinese Professional Baseball League All-Star Game in Tainan on Sunday night.

A sellout crowd of 10,500-plus, the fourth largest in league history for the annual mid-summer classic, saw Team Red -- consisting of the best and brightest players from the Chinatrust Whales, the Brother Elephant and the Macoto Cobras -- run out to a 2-0 lead in the opening frame off Team White starter Pan "Du Du" Wei-luen on back-to-back RBI singles from Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-min and Hsieh "The Ugly" Jia-shien.

But Team White -- made up of the top players from the President Lions, the Sinon Bulls and the La New Bears -- was able to counter with a run of its own in the bottom of the third when Lions rookie outfielder Pan Wu-hsiung took Elephants pitcher Yeh Yong-jeh deep for a solo home run to make it 2-1 in favor of Team Red.

Pan Wu-hsiung became just the tenth player in league history to hit a home run in his first All-Star Game appearance.

Whales outfielder Gee Jung-lin would add to Team Red's lead by a deuce in the top of the fourth with a two-run shot off Bears pitcher Huang Jung-chung to give his team a 4-1 advantage, which lasted until the seventh as Team White closed the gap once again to just a run in a 4-3 contest with Huang "Easy" Long-yi's two-run dinger off Whales pitcher Shen Yu-jeh.

That was as close as Team White would get as the record-setting four errors in the eighth that allowed six runs to score easily for Team Red blew the once-closely contented game wide open.

Eleven Team-Red hitters made their way to the plate in the decisive eighth against two Team White hurlers.

Team Red would add another run in the top of the ninth before all was said and done to up their total run production to eleven, tying the league mark for most runs scored in an All-Star Game while also making it one of the more dramatic games in recent All-Star Game history.

Picking up the win was Team Red starter Liao Yu-cheng who allowed no runs on a hit in two innings to beat his counterpart Du Du, who gave up two runs on three hits in his two innings pitched to disappoint the home crowd.

Gee was voted the game MVP for going 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs.

It was the veteran Whales outfielder's sixth All-Star Game appearance, but his first to take home the MVP trophy.

"I still can't believe what happened [hitting the homer and winning the MVP], because this is not the kind of thing I would do," Gee said after the game.

He is homerless in the 55 games that he has played this year, with his last regular-season home run dating back to last September.

With the victory, Team Red not only extended its non-losing streak in the mid-summer classic to four games in a row, but also walked away with a hefty NT$300,000 check that will be divided among the participating players as the three-day festival came to a successful end.

Hsieh "the Ugly" Jia-shien overcame a slow start in the preliminary rounds of the All-Star Game's Home Run Derby by beating defending champ Huang Kwei-yu in a sudden-death format.

The Cobras' star slugger was awarded NT$60,000 for his outstanding showing in Saturday's competition.

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