Chang “Prince of the Forest” Tai-shan’s walk-off three-run homer, his second blast of the game, broke a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Sinon Bulls past the La New Bears 8-5 at the Taichung Municipal Baseball Stadium on Sunday.
It was the third time in his illustrious career that the veteran slugger had ended a game on a decisive swing, giving the Bulls their second win in as many days to clinch the three-game series 2-1.
The homer by the Prince overshadowed what had been an impressive comeback by the visiting Bears, who rallied for a pair of runs in the top of the ninth by loading up the bases with two outs before Jose Cruz delivered a game-tying single to send the game into the bottom of the ninth.
“It was a big win for us, given the fact that we are probably not going to make it into the post-season this year,” Chang said.
Back-to-back doubles by Lin Chih-sheng and Chen Chin-fong in the top of the first got the Bears on the board in a hurry, before the hosts answered with an RBI double of their own in the second, courtesy of Wilton Veras.
The Bulls would send eight to the plate in a three-run fourth that put them ahead 4-1, before the Bears connected for two runs in the fifth that kept it a one-run game.
Chang’s solo homer off Hsu Chih-hua made it 5-3 in the seventh for what seemed a good enough lead for the Bulls, until the Bears tied it up in the top of the ninth to set the stage for Chang to save the day.
ELEPHANTS 7, LIONS 2
The Brother Elephants won the second-half title on Sunday with a 7-2 win over the Uni-President Lions at the Douliou County Baseball Stadium to earn a ticket into the post-season.
Liao “The Golden Submarine” Yu-cheng was off his mark with an unusual six walks over five innings of work, but still managed to pick up the win by allowing just two runs on a pair of hits, before turning to the bullpen for help.
With the Elephants offense scoring seven early runs to lead it 7-2 through the fourth and a bullpen that featured both the premier setup man and closer in the league — Matt Perisho and Ryan Cullen — the win seemed imminent.
That was exactly what happened as the Elephants bullpen held the Lions scoreless over the final four frames to preserve the win.