The favorites had little trouble bagging up wins around the league on Friday, with the President Lions topping the dmedia T-Rex 13-3 at the Taipei County Baseball Stadium in Sinjhuang and the Brother Elephants humbling the Sinon Bulls 8-2 at the Hsinchu Municipal Baseball Stadium.
Louis Pote continued his dominance over the opposing hitters by winning his seventh in a row to remain unbeaten at 7-0 this year. The American right-hander, who joined the Cats at the start of this season, went eight strong innings with three allowed runs on eight hits while fanning seven and walking one.
Offensively for the Lions, seven different hitters had multi-hit games on the night, led by Cheng Nai-wen and Yang Dong-yi, who had three each and three combined RBIs. An amazing ten of the 17 hits collected by the Lions went for extra-bases, with a homer by Tilson Brito and nine doubles, which was how the extremely efficient Lions lineup managed to score 13 runs off 17 hits.
The contest began with the Lions jumping to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a sacrifice-fly by Yang Seng and an RBI-single by Kuo Dai-chi.
Brito’s solo blast, his league-leading seventh of the season, quickly made it 3-0 in the fourth, before Hsu Fong-bin’s two-run single in the same inning put the Lions ahead 5-0.
Against the sharp pitching of Pote, the T-Rex were held in check for most of the game, except when they were able to string together a single, a double and a triple at the bottom of the fourth for a pair of runs to avoid the shutout.
Suffering the one-sided loss for the T-Rex was starter Chen Jia-hong, who remained winless at 0-4 with six runs allowed on seven hits over four innings of work.
Elephants 8, Bulls 2
Back-to-back home runs by Chen “Golden Warrior” Chih-yuan and Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min in the top of the first set the tone early in the game, as the Brother Elephants rolled over the Sinon Bulls 8-2 in Hsinchu to snap a three-game losing skid.
It was the 18th time the duo had homered in the same game, bringing back sweet memories from their heyday when the Elephants won three straight titles to rule the league.
By the time the Bulls knew what had hit them in the fifth, the scoreboard already read 7-0 in favor of the Elephants.
The Bulls finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth when veteran slugger Huang Chung-yi went deep against Elephants’ starter Kobayashi Ryokan for his first home run of the season to make it 7-1.
And they would go on to score once more in the game, while the Elephants tacked on another run in the eighth for the eventual 8-2 final score.
Picking up the impressive win along with the game-MVP honor was Kobayashi, who went the distance for the second time this year en route to his third victory for a 3-2 record. The Japanese right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Tagged with the loss for the Bulls was newcomer Michael Connolly, whose debut was anything but spectacular. The two first-inning homers really shook up the American right-hander, who ended up allowing seven runs (five earned) on eight hits in four-and-two-third innings in a losing effort.