The President Lions finished off the week’s play in grand fashion with an 8-0 blanking of the Sinon Bulls at home in Tainan on Sunday night to sweep the two-game series.
Louis Pote mowed through the Bulls lineup with six innings of shutout ball to improve to a team-best 5-0 with the win while Kao Guo-ching and Hsu Sheng-jeh drove in two hits apiece to account for half of the Lions’ total offense.
The win not only upped the Lions’ lead over the second-place La New Bears to a season-high four games, but also made them the first team to reach the 20-win plateau this year.
The contest began with the hosts wasting little time getting to Sinon starter Iba Tomokazu with two runs in the opening inning on a chopping single up the middle by Kao that scored both runners.
After a scoreless second and third, the Lions struck again in the bottom of the fourth for four runs; two from a single by Hsu with the bases loaded and a couple more from a run-scoring wild pitch by Iba and an error by the Sinon shortstop, to lead it 6-0.
The Lions added another run in the fifth to make it 7-0 before three straight singles following two quick outs in the seventh plated their eighth run to conclude the scoring.
Suffering the lopsided loss for the Bulls was Iba who received no run support at all from his offense as the Japanese veteran fell to 1-3 for the year with six allowed runs (three earned) on six hits over three and two thirds innings of work.
BEARS 2, ELEPHANTS 2, 12 INNNINGS
The La New Bears and the Brother Elephants played to a 2-2 draw after 12 innings at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tienmu on Sunday.
The four hour-plus marathon saw the Bears jump to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the second on consecutive run-scoring errors by the Elephants defense but the game soon turned into a defensive struggle after the Elephants answered with a run each during the fourth and fifth on a solo blast by Wang Jin-yong and an RBI-double by Chen Guan-ren respectively to even things up at 2-2.
That was all the runs either team could manage against the stellar pitching of the Bears’ Mike Johnson and his counterpart Liao Yu-cheng, as neither starter allowed runners beyond second bases the rest of the way before the game eventually carried into extra-innings.
Both sides had a chance to clinch a win during the late-innings with the Elephants getting the leadoff hitter on in the eighth and ninth on walks off La New relievers and the Bears threatening to score with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth.
But failure to come through with the big hit kept the game tied after 12 innings of play.