Sat, Nov 15, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Uni-President Lions declawed by Japan’s Kishi

By Jackson Broder  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER, WITH AP

Uni-President Lions starter Pan Wei-lun hurls the ball during the first inning of their Konami Cup Asia Series baseball game against Japan’s Saitama Seibu Lions at the Tokyo Dome yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

Seibu Lions starter Kishi Takayuki baffled and outmatched the Uni-President Lions hitters last night at the Tokyo Dome, firing a two-hitter over eight innings as the Seibu Lions defeated Taiwan’s Uni-­President Lions 2-1 on day two of the Konami Cup Asia Series.

Both teams are now 1-1 in the series.

The Asia Series features the top teams from the professional baseball leagues of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China.

Kishi, the rookie MVP of this year’s Japan Series, outdueled tough-luck losing pitcher Pan Hui-lung. The rookie showed great poise and elegance, striking out 10 Uni-Preisident Lions hitters on just two hits and two walks. He showed impeccable command all over the strike zone and used a nasty, slow breaking pitch to shut down the Lions bats.

All the game’s offense occurred in the fourth inning.

Kishi’s only run allowed came on Tilson Brito’s sacrifice fly in the top half of the fourth, scoring second baseman Yang Sen, who reached base on a double that nearly cleared the wall.

The Seibu Lions answered with a two-run bottom of the fouth that gave them all the offense they needed.

Outfielder Ohshima Hiroyuki tied the game on a single to center field, scoring first baseman Ishii Yoshihito.

The winning run came later in the inning when Uni-President’s right fielder Kuo Chun-yu failed to hang on to Akada Shogo’s fly ball to right field, allowing infielder Kataoka Yasuyuki to score from second base.

Starting pitcher Pan was sharp in defeat, turning in a six-inning quality start, allowing five hits while striking out four and walking two.

He worked both sides of the plate with his signature cut fastball to break bats and induce pop-ups, working out of jams in the second and third inning.

Relievers Hoshino Tomoki and Onodera Chikara worked a perfect ninth for Seibu, with Onodera picking up the save.

WYVERNS 15, TIANJIN LIONS 0

Designated hitter Kim Jae-hyun drove in four runs to lead South Korea’s SK Wyverns to a 15-0 win over China’s Tianjin Lions in the Asia Series yesterday.

Kim drove in a run with a single in the fourth inning and connected for a three-run homer in the seventh, ending the game under the tournament’s mercy rule.

South Korean starting pitcher Song Eun-beom gave up a leadoff infield single to Hou Fenglian in the first inning, but then settled down and held the Lions hitless until leaving the game after a single by Wang Chao in the fourth.

“I was frustrated with myself after giving up that hit,” Song said.

“But after that I was able to focus and was pleased with my pitching,” he said.

Tianjin Lions starter Chen Wei surrendered five runs on four hits over two innings.

The Wyverns improved to 2-0, while the Lions dropped to 0-2.

China’s Lions lost 7-4 in their opening game against the Uni-­President Lions on Thursday and were no match for the powerful South Koreans yesterday.

“They are a very strong team,” China’s manager Yi Jiao said. “They played very well today and there was a big gap in the score, but we can learn from this experience.”

TODAY’S GAMES

Today’s early game features the Chinese Baseball League’s Tianjin Lions taking on the Seibu Lions, with the Uni-President Lions facing the undefeated SK Wyverns in the nightcap.

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