Ku Pao Home Economics and Commercial High School of Taipei County drew first blood in the title series of the annual High School Baseball Taiwan Championship by downing Kaohsiung County’s Kao Yuan Senior High School 5-2 in Sinjhuang on Saturday evening.
The runners-up from last year — who dropped two straight after taking the first game in the best-of-three title series to lose to Tainan’s Nan Ying Vocational High School — easily topped Kao Yuan with a potent offense that rang up 13 hits off three different pitchers, leaving them one win shy of the championship.
Ku Pao starter Chen Pin-hsueh was relieved by Pan Jeh after tossing two hitless innings because of discomfort in his throwing arm. The three-year letterman more than filled in for Chen by pitching seven strong innings of three-hit ball to guide his team past Kao Yuan.
Other than some initial jitters that allowed Kao Yuan to score their only two runs of the game in the third, Pan was nearly flawless as he retired all but two of the last 20 batters he faced to eliminate any chance of a rally.
Offensively for the victors, cleanup hitter Yang Hong-sheng’s 2-for-3 hitting with a pair of RBIs led the way, while Su Chih-hao drove in a run by belting two hits on the night.
“A win is good, but we won’t really celebrate until we win it all,” Ku Pao head coach Tsai Ming-tang said after the game.
With their backs against the wall, Kao Yuan were sending lefty Chen Sheng-nan to the mound in Game 2 last night in search of the equalizer that would force the series into a decisive final game.
CHUNG DAU 3, NATIONAL TUNG-SHIH 4
Chiayi County’s National Tung-shih Senior High School rallied for four unanswered runs in the final two innings to defeat Yilan County’s Chung Dau Senior High School 4-3 in extra innings on Saturday afternoon to close the year with a third-place finish.
Trailing 0-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth, Huang Liang-hsun led off the improbable comeback with a walk off Chung Dau starter Hsu Tseh-min, who had a four-hitter going before Huang Ying-da and Hong Chen-wei singled and doubled in for three runs.
Even though Hsu managed to strike out the last batter of the inning to end National Tung-shih’s scoring threat, the momentum had already shifted in favor of National Tung-shih, setting the stage for Tsai Chih-yu’s walk-off single off Chung Dau reliever Lin Tzu-han for the game-clinching run.
National Tung-shih reliever Huang Pei-yuan was credited with the win for pitching a scoreless 10th, while Yu Mu-chien from Chung Dau was tagged with the loss for allowing the extra inning.