Tseng Hao-jui's soft dribbler down the third base line with the bases loaded and two outs scored the go-ahead run for the La New Bears in the top of the 11th inning as they held on to edge past the President Lions 2-1 in Sinjhuang on Friday night to sweep the two-game series against their longtime rivals.
Leading 1-0 heading in the top of the ninth, the Bears had an excellent chance to add an insurance run in the inning with Chen Chin-fong charging home from second on a single to left by Tseng.
But a perfect throw by Lions leftfielder Pan Wu-hsiung beat Chen by a couple of steps at the plate and prevented the run from scoring on an inning-ending out. The Lions then rallied in the bottom of the ninth, tying the game on Kao Chih-kang's sacrifice fly off Suzuki Macoto to send the game into extra innings.
The highly anticipated battle between the top two squads in the league lived up to its billing with both starters keeping the opposing bats silent over the first three innings.
Brian Reith of the Lions allowed just one hit through the third, while Andrew Loraine gave up two harmless singles over the same span to keep it a scoreless tie.
It was the Bears who finally drew first blood in the top of the fourth when Chen crushed a pitch from Reith over the left field wall for a solo home run and a 1-0 lead.
The 1-0 Bears advantage would stand over the next four frames as neither offense was able to produce again until the Lions forced in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth, setting the table for the dramatic finish in the end.
Suzuki was credited with his first win of the season for his two-and-two-thirds innings of shutout relief, beating his counterpart Tsao Jung-yang, who surrendered the unearned run in the decisive 11th for his fifth loss of the year.
Whales 4, Cobras 2
The Chinatrust Whales doubled up on the Macoto Cobras in a 4-2 final in Luodong, Yilan County, on Friday evening for their first win in a rain-shortened week.
Lefty ace Shen Yu-jeh continued his surge by winning his seventh straight at the expense of a Cobras club that has dropped eight of their last 10 to fall to the last spot in the standings.
The marine creatures wasted no time getting on the board with Carlos Villalobos lining a double off Cobras starter Chang Hsien-chih in the bottom of the first for a pair of runs before scoring the third run of the inning on Kuo Dai-yong's sacrifice fly to lead it 3-0.
Villalobos' second double of the game in the bottom of the fifth made it 4-0 in favor of the Whales before the Cobras got two of the runs back on Jose Leon's two-run blast in the top of the seventh to conclude the scoring.