Tilson Brito's fielding error on a hard two-out chopper by Chen Yuan-jia scored the go-ahead run for the Macoto Cobras as they held on to edge past the President Lions in a 6-5 road win in Tainan on Thursday evening.
Chen might have been the one who knocked in the game-winner, but the real storyline of the game was Cobras third baseman Kao Wei's monstrous outing.
It was Kao's fully-extended snag on a hard-hit liner by Liu Fu-hao that not only robbed Liu of a sure run-scoring double, but set off an inning-ending double play to deny the Lions a chance to grab a late-game lead in the bottom of the eighth.
In addition to flashing some fine leather work on the field, Kao also knocked in a pair of runs with a clutch two-out single in the eighth to account for a third of the Cobras run production.
"It's great to be able to contribute especially when you see the other guys on the team all trying to do the same thing," Kao said after the game as he accepted the game MVP honor.
He has batted in two or more runs in a game 16 times for the Cobras this year.
Kao Guo-ching's two-run home run off Cobras starter Pat Ahearne in bottom of the first gave the Lions a quick 2-0 lead before the serpents answered with Hsieh "the Ugly" Jia-shien's solo blast leading off the top of the second to make it 2-1.
The Cobras would take a 3-2 lead of their own in the fifth on Yang Rei-chih's two-run single up the middle before the Kuo Dai-chi's solo homer in the bottom of the sixth forced the second tie of the game at 3-3.
Kao Wei's two-run single in the top of the eighth would put the Cobras ahead 5-3, only to see the Lions forced the third tie of the game with Kuo's game-tying two-run single off Cobras reliever Lee Ming-jin, setting the stage for Chen's game-clincher.
Picking up the win for the Cobras was Travis Minix, who threw two innings of hitless ball to improve to 4-2 for the year, while his counterpart Tsao Jung-yang took the tough loss for allowing the unearned run by the Cobras in the ninth to drop to an even 4-4 mark for the season.
Lions starter Pan "Du Du" Wei-luen's bid to extend his winning streak to 13 straight resulted in a no-decision as the Lions hitters bailed out their staff ace by forcing a 3-3 tie in the sixth. Du Du left the game after the fifth trailing the Cobras 2-3.
Bulls 1 Elephants 2
A sudden downpour in Sinjhuang on Thursday night cut the game between the Sinon Bulls and the Brother Elephants short by a couple of innings, turning a 2-1 Elephants lead into a 2-1 win.
Lin Ming-shien led off the bottom of the first with a single, took second on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on a fielding error by the Sinon defense two batters later to give the Elephants a 1-0 lead after just one inning of play.
After a scoreless second and third, Cheng Jau-han then tied it at 1-all with a towering shot to left off Elephants starter Joey Dawley.
Another error by the Sinon defense in the fifth that resulted in the second unearned run for the Elephants ended up being the difference in the game as the 2-1 lead stood the rest of the way.
Dawley was credited with the "W" for tossing three-hit ball over six innings to beat the Bulls' Iba Tomokazu, who was dealt the tough defeat as both of the runs he allowed over seven innings were unearned.