Mon, Aug 03, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Lions top off Bears, Elephants pulverize Sinon Bulls 13-0

HOME RUN: Third-year infielder Cheng Nai-wen made the most of his call up from the minor leagues, helping deliver three straight wins to his team

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Homering for the second time in as many days, Cheng Nai-wen connected on a three-run blast to lead the Uni-President Lions past the La New Bears 4-1 at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu on Saturday evening.

The third-year infielder, who was recently promoted from the Lions’ minor league squad, made the most of his big league call-up by batting a combined 7-for-15 with eight RBIs over the past five games to help his team win their third straight and fourth in the last five contests.

“I am seeing the ball a lot better than before,” Cheng said in a simple explanation for his recent offensive surge after Saturday’s triumph.

The freefalling Bears, who had lost six in a row heading into Saturday night’s match, actually struck first with a run in the top of the third on an RBI groundout by Jacob Cruz off Lions starter Luther Hackman.

The lead would last less than an inning, however, as the Lions answered with a four-run fourth against Bears starter Chang Chih-jia, capped by Cheng’s three-run shot to claim a 4-1 lead that would hold the rest of the way.

Failure to come up with the clutch hit cost the Bears the game as they outhit their Lions by a 9-7 margin, but managed to produce only one run in the game with nine total runners stranded, five of whom were in scoring position.

The Bears squandered a scoring opportunity in the fifth when they failed to score with runners on first and second and no outs when the runner on second was gunned down on a pickoff attempt before the Lions induced an infield fly and an inning-ending strikeout to keep the Bears out of the scoring gate.

Picking up the win was reliever Chang Chih-chiang, who entered in the fifth and pitched into and out of trouble with the help of a great defense to improve to 5-1 for the year.

ELEPHANTS 13, BULLS 0

Scoring early and often, the Brother Elephants roughed up the Sinon Bulls with a 13-0 shutout at the Taipei County Baseball Stadium in Sinjhuang on Saturday.

The men in their golden uniforms jumped all over Sinon starter Yang Jien-fu with a six-run first and went after his replacement Wu Cheng-shien with six more over the next two-and-one-third innings to take a commanding 12-0 lead through the fourth.

That was more then ample for starter Tsao Chin-hui, who tossed six scoreless innings of four-hit ball en route to his sixth win of the year.

With an offense that had averaged nearly 10 runs per game in the last five, it did not matter who the Elephants had on the mound because the generous run support would make a winner out of any pitcher, let alone Tsao, who carries the distinction as Taiwan’s first Major League hurler.

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