Itsuki Shoda pitched seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball and Lin Yi-chuan drove in a 2-for-4 hitting as the Sinon Bulls blanked the Brother Elephants 3-0 at the Taichung Municipal Baseball Stadium on Saturday night.
The win was Shoda’s 14th of the year — giving him the league lead, with one more than La New Bears great Aaron Rakers. The Japanese native also nabbed the strikeout title with five K’s, giving him a league-best 115 this season, five more than runner-up Rakers’ 110.
Sinon’s dominance over the Bears in individual achievements also ran on the offensive side as Lin’s RBI gave the rookie sensation 111 for the year, one more than the Bears’ Lin Chih-sheng’s 110. The two were to duke it out in the final game of the season yesterday to determine who will take home the title.
PHOTO: LIAO YAO-TUNG, TAIPEI TIMES
As for the game on Saturday, the Bulls capitalized on what turned out to be a two-run error by the Elephants’ Chu Hong-seng, whose poor throw to home on a potential inning-ending double play led to two unearned runs in the bottom of the second.
Shoda cruised through the seventh unharmed, before Shen Yu-jeh and Lin Ying-jeh came out of the bullpen and combined for two scoreless innings of relief.
The Elephants failed to make good on any of the seven hits they mustered (compared with the Bulls’ six), stranding nine runners.
BEARS 3, LIONS 1
The La New Bears won their third straight of the week by downing the Uni-President Lions 3-1 at the Kaohsiung County Baseball Stadium on Saturday evening.
Rakers was magnificent in probably his last start of the year by tossing seven innings of one-run ball to win his team-best 13th game of the year.
Also starring for the Bears were Lin Chih-sheng and Chung Cheng-yo, whose respective solo and two-run homers off Lions starter Luther Hackman in the bottom of the fourth accounted for all of the Bears’ runs.
Hackman took a tough loss, putting in eight innings of three-run ball with six strikeouts and a lone walk. Other than the two pitches that Lin Chih-sheng and Chung crushed for homers, the American righty was rock-solid — a good sign for skipper Lu Wen-sheng, who looks to Hackman to follow his two wins in the Taiwan Series last year with another strong outing this year to help the Lions defend their third straight title.
• Sinon Bulls 11,
Brother Elephants 5
• La New Bears 9,
Uni-President Lions 7
• Uni-President Lions
v Sinon Bulls
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