The Uni-President Lions tied a club record for most runs scored in an inning with nine off two different Brother Elephants pitchers in the sixth to run away with a 14-10 win at the Hsinchu Municipal Baseball Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Rico Washington led a Lions attack that rang up 19 hits against generous Elephants pitching with five hits in the game, tying the league mark for most hits in a single contest. Even though the American shortstop only managed to dive in a run, it was a tremendous effort worthy of the game-MVP honor.
Also starring for the road cats were Yang Song-hsuen, Chen Lien-hong and Yang Dong-yi, who belted three hits apiece with six combined RBIs to account for the bulk of their team’s run production.
The Lions found themselves trailing 0-1 in the second on Elephants slugger Chen Chih-pong’s RBI single to left, but quickly regained their composure with a three-run third, highlighted by Kao Guo-ching’s two-run blast off Elephants starter Danny Core to take a 3-1 lead.
After a quiet fourth and fifth, the Lions offense would strike again with a big sixth that promptly widened their lead to 12-1.
Even though the Elephants scored the next six runs to pull within five of the defending champs, the game was over long before the final out was recorded.
Mid-inning relief made the difference in the game as the Elephants bullpen failed to keep the game close after Core was pulled at the start of the fifth as Yeh Yong-jeh and Lee Hao-ren opened the floodgates with nine allowed runs in the decisive sixth.
Picking up his first win of the year was Lions reliever Lin Cheng-fong, who entered in relief of starter Valerio de los Santos of the Dominican Republic in the fourth with two scoreless innings of one-hit ball before turning the game to fellow pitcher Pan Jung-rong.
Suffering the loss was Elephants starter Core, who allowed three runs on five hits over four innings but fell victim to a total collapse by the struggling Elephants bullpen.