Thu, Oct 04, 2007 - Page 20 News List

CPBL: Kao Guo-ching ties league mark as hard work pays off

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

The President Lions' Kao Guo-ching tied an 11-year-old league mark for most hits in a single season as he added two on Tuesday night in an 8-2 win over the Brother Elephants in Sinjhuang to give him a total of 143 for the season.

The fourth-year Lions first-baseman, who drove in three runs on a 2-for-5 night, broke a 2-all gridlock with a bases-loaded two-run single off Elephants starter Joey Dawley to help the Lions claim the lead for good.

"I guess the offseason work that Liu Fu-ha and I have done is really paying off for us," Kao said after the game about the success that he and teammate Liu have enjoyed this year after the two had taken some time during the offseason to work with a Japanese instructor on their own.

Contrary to what the final score might suggest, the Elephants actually struck first with a pair of second-inning runs off Lions starter Nelson Figueroa on back-to-back RBI singles by Chen Jiang-heh and Chen Chih-hong to take a 2-0 lead.

The Lions responded an inning later with Liu's solo homer to lead off the third before they evened things up at 2-2 in the fourth when Yang Seng singled off Dawley, took second on a steal and scored on Kao Chih-kang's clutch single.

After a scoreless fifth and sixth the Lions offense surged again with three in the seventh, courtesy of Kao's two-run single and Kuo Dai-Chi's one-run single off Elephants reliever Wang Jing-li.

The Lions then tacked on three more in the eighth to ice the deal, turning what had been a two-run deficit into an easy 8-2 win by scoring eight unanswered runs off three different Elephants hurlers.

Picking up his fourth straight win to remain undefeated at 4-0 for the year was Figueroa, who shook off a two-run second by going the distance for in his first complete-game outing with seven shutout innings the rest of the way.

Suffering the loss was Dawley, whose bid for his 10th win of the year fell short as he settled for a 9-7 record with perhaps one more start on the schedule. He allowed five of the eight Lions runs on seven hits in six innings, despite fanning eight to overtake the league's lead in total strikeouts with 145.

He had been tied with the Chinatrust Whales' Lorenzo Bacelo with 137 for a share of the lead in total strikeouts heading into the game.

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