Three timely runs in the top of the sixth inning turned a 6-4 deficit into a 7-6 lead as the Brother Elephants went on to defeat the Uni-President Lions in a 10-7 final at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City last night.
The nearly four-hour marathon, which featured four lead changes, 17 combined runs, 29 hits, five errors, as well as five pitchers from each squad, kept the 9,000-plus fans in attendance on the edge of their seats all the way until Elephants closer Ryan Cullen calmly retired the Lions’ Hsu Sheng-jeh with a game-winning strikeout that stranded two on base with the tying run at the plate.
“Anything can happen in a baseball game at any time, they [the Lions] were in it all the way until the final at-bat,” a much-relieved Brother Elephants skipper Chen Rei-chen said after the game.
Even a three-run lead was not enough against a diehard Lions club that placed two runners on base in the ninth and actually brought the tying run to the plate, before Cullen bailed his team out with a scoreless ninth to save the day.
The Lions jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, before the Elephants answered with a pair of runs in the third and fourth to take the lead 4-2.
The Lions scored the next four runs to take a 6-4 lead through the fifth to set up the three-run sixth that put the Elephants up for good.
Picking up the wild win was reliever Guan Da-yuan, who gave up three runs on five hits in 1-1/3 innings of play, while the loss was charged to Lions starter John Halama, who fell victim to two errors that led to four unearned runs over 5-2/3 frames in a losing effort.
BULLS 14, MONKEYS 1
The Sinon Bulls humbled the top-ranked Lamigo Monkeys in Taichung last night in a 14-1 slaughter at the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium to end a long and bitter seven-game losing skid.
It was the Bulls’ first win in more than two weeks with their previous victory dating back to May 6, when they topped the Brother Elephants in Douliou in a 7-2 final.
Lan Hsao-bai led the Bulls lineup that teed off against the Lamigo pitching with four RBIs on a 3 for 4 night, including a three-run homerun in the bottom of the fourth off Lamigo starter Adrian Burnside that capped a five-run inning to that turned a 1-1 tie into a rout.
The Bulls racked up plenty more runs as they batted through the order to knock home five more in a plentiful sixth, highlighted by Wu Tsong-jung’s two-run double, which put the game out of reach for good.
The Bulls totaled a tally of 16 hits on top of a pair of errors by the Monkeys defense, before all was said and done.
Yang Jien-fu was credited with the win for tossing one-run ball on six hits over six decent innings of work to even his season record at 5-5.
Taking the loss was his counterpart Burnside, who lasted through the sixth with 11 allowed runs (seven earned) on as many hits and four walks to drop to a 5-3 mark for the year. The seven runs charged against him brought his ERA up nearly a full run from the previous 3.06 to 3.81.