Lee Yi-wei’s walk-off triple with runners on first and second scored the game-winning runs to help the Sinon Bulls overcome a one-run deficit and top the Uni-President Lions 8-7 in extra innings in Taichung on Wednesday evening.
The second-year catcher for the Bulls made the most of his first plate appearance of the season in relief of starter Yeh Jung-chang by lining an offering from Lions reliever Lin Yueh-ping down the rightfield line to score the game-winner.
A seesaw battle that featured five lead changes saw the home Bulls jumping to a quick 3-0 lead on a pair of RBI singles by Cheng Jau-hang in the second and fourth and a run-scoring error by the Lions defense before the defending champs fought back with a three-run sixth to even things up at 3-all.
Kao Chih-kang’s two-run double gave the Lions their first lead in the game at 5-3 in the top of the seventh, only to see the Bulls answer with a run in the bottom of the same inning and actually regain a 6-5 lead in the eighth on Cheng’s third RBI-single of the night.
Trailing by a run, the resilient Lions used a two-out single by Pan Wu-hsiung with runners on first and second to force the third tie of the contest on 6-6 in the top of the ninth to send the game into extra innings, setting the stage for Lee’s late-game heroics.
Kieran Mattison of the US, who entered the game to start the top of the ninth, was credited with the win despite allowing a run in the ninth and 10th, turning a blown save into a rather fortunate victory.
Suffering the tough loss was his counterpart Lin, who came into the game in the bottom of the 10th and walked two before surrendering the two-run triple to Lee for his first loss of the year.
• La New Bears 5,
Brother Elephants 2
• Sinon Bulls 6,
Uni-President Lions 4
• Uni-President Lions v Brother Elephants (Sinjhuang, 6:30pm)
• La New Bears v Sinon Bulls (Hsinchu, 6:30pm)