The Sinon Bulls bent but would not break as they held off a tough rally by the La New Bears in the bottom of the ninth to win it 7-6 at the Kaohsiung County Baseball Stadium on Thursday night.
With his team leading 7-4, Sinon closer Kuo Yong-chih allowed back-to-back singles to start off the bottom of the ninth and actually surrendered two runs to the home Bears to make it 7-6 with no outs.
But he was able to regroup in a hurry and retire the next three batters in order on a fly out to deep-right and two strikeouts to preserve the win that ended a three-game losing skid for the Bulls.
The contest began with the visiting Bulls getting four early runs off Bears starter Huang Jung-chung with a run in the first and three in the second, highlighted by Chang Jien-ming’s two-run double, to lead it 4-1.
The lead lasted less than two innings as the Bears fought back with two runs in the third on Chen Chin-fong’s two-run double off the leftfield wall to make it 4-3 before evening things up at 4-all in the fifth on Pan Chung-wei’s sacrifice-fly.
Two costly errors by the Bears defense on top of an RBI-single by Tseng Hua-wei gave the Bulls their second three-run lead in the game at 7-4 in the top of the sixth, a lead they would not relinquish despite the ninth-inning drama.
Picking up the win for the Bulls was reliever Jose Espinal of the Dominican Republic, who allowed a run on four hits over two innings of work for his first win of the season.
Suffering the loss for the Bears was lefty Hsu Yu-wei, who was charged with two of the three Bulls runs in the decisive sixth for his first setback of the year.
Lions 16, Whales 6
Scoring early and often, the President Lions trounced the Chinatrust Whales 16-6 to win their fourth in a row at the Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium on Thursday evening.
The league leaders teed off against the marine creatures by amassing 11 runs over the first three frames; four in the first, two in the second and five more in the third to take a commanding 11-0 lead.
The Whales finally got on the board in the top of the fourth when Carlos Villalobos hit his third home run of the season, a solo shot to deep-left off Lions starter Lin Yueh-pin to make it 11-1, only to see the home Lions counter with a run in the bottom of the same inning before tacking on four more in the sixth to conclude their offensive bash.
Trailing by a ton, the Whales scored five meaningless runs in the ninth to keep it somewhat respectable.
But that was too little too late as they suffered the sixth series sweep of the season by dropping both contests versus the Lions earlier this week.
Seven different Lions players had multi-hit games on the night, led by Pan Wu-hsiung’s 3-for-4 effort with an RBI. Tilson Brito also starred for the Lions by going 2-for-4 with six RBIs, producing 25 for the year.
Lin was credited with his fourth win of the season to remain unbeaten at 4-0 while his counterpart Steve Watkins pocked the loss for allowing six runs on five hits in just one-and-two-third innings to fall to an even 3-3 mark for the season.