Wang Yi-min's two-out single that never left the infield scored the game-winner in the bottom of the tenth as the Chinatrust Whales overcame a late-game deficit to top the Sinon Bulls 5-4 at the Yilan County Baseball Stadium in Luodong on Wednesday night.
With the bases loaded and his team desperately in search for its first win in six chances, the Whales infielder out of the Taipei Physical Education College just got enough of a pitch from the Bulls’ Huang Hong-ren and slapped it towards second in what appeared to be an inning-ending groundout.
But the ball was hit softly enough that the only play the Bulls second baseman had was a throw to second which did not come in time, making the run at the plate stand to give the marine creatures the win.
“It was a big break for us, knowing how much we needed a win,” Whales skipper Hsieh Chang-hen said after the game. His team had been outscored by a 10-to-31 margin during a five-game losing skid prior to Wednesday’s contest.
The classic seesaw battle that featured three different lead changes began with the Whales drawing first blood in the bottom of the second on a run-scoring double by Kuo Dai-yong that put his team ahead 1-0 before the Bulls answered with two runs of their own in the top of the third to go up 2-1.
The Bulls’ lead would last less than an inning as Tseng Jia-shien’s liner over the middle scored the runner from second to force a 2-2 tie after three innings of play before the two teams traded another run each in the fifth to make it 3-3.
Chen Chih-wei’s RBI-groundout with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh made it 4-3 in favor of the Bulls which prompted the Whales to rally in the eighth with a solo homer by Tseng that forced a 4-all tie to send the game into extra innings.
Picking up the win for the Whales was Huang who entered in the ninth and allowed no runs on three hits over two scoreless innings to improve to a 2-1 mark for the year while his counterpart Lin Chi-wei was tagged with the tough loss for serving up the winning run on a lucky bouncer that ended up being the difference in the game.
Lions 10, Elephants 3
The President Lions took advantage of two costly errors by the Brother Elephants defense, which led to a seven-run fourth in the eventual 10-3 win at the Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium on Wednesday to sweep the two-game series against the Elephants.
Chang Chih-chiang pitched seven solid innings of three-run ball on five hits and Tu Juang-hsun went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs to lead the league-leaders in yet another convincing victory as they opened a season-best 5-1/2 game lead over the second-place La New Bears in the standings.
Kao Guo-ching and Chen Lien-hong also had three hits apiece with an RBI each for the Lions which leads the league in total runs scored (236), total home runs (31), and batting average (.302).
As for the Elephants, a great start that included two quick runs in the bottom of the first did not equate to a win as the hitters were kept at bay by Chang from the second inning on with minimal success.