Scoring at least two runs in each of the first three innings, the Lamigo Monkeys jumped to a 7-0 lead in the top of the third and went on to defeat the Brother Elephants 8-6 at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City last night to clinch not only the weekend series, but also the second-half title.
With blue ribbons blanketing the Monkey side of the infield seats, skipper Hung Yi-chung gathered his troops together to thank the fans who came out to witness the Primates’ first-ever regular-season title.
“I’m glad we finally captured this one, it is as good as it gets,” a champagne-soaked Hung said after the game as he celebrated winning the second-half title with his team.
The Elephants definitely did not make this one easy as they rallied from seven down to come within two runs of the Monkeys and actually had the tying run on board against Lamigo closer Paul Phillips before the US righty got the Elephants’ Chou Si-chi to bounce to second for the game-ending out.
Newcomer Mike Loree of the US was the beneficiary of a potent Primate attack that provided him just enough run support to overcome a five-run third that was too close for comfort as he improved to 5-1 for the season with the postseason on the tap.
Bulls 14, Lions 9
The Sinon Bulls also took care of business in their three-game home stand at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium last night with a 14-9 win to take a rare series from the first-half champs by a 2-1 split.
Starter Lin Chen-hua was spotted a quick 6-0 cushion with his offense teeing off against his counterpart Tsai Wan-lin and Lion reliever Tsai Jng-hao over the first two frames, before allowing three runs of his own to the Cats that made it 6-3 through three innings of play.
That was as close as the Lions got to the Sinon rookie sensation as he calmly retired all but one of the next 10 batters he faced, before handing the ball off to his bullpen in the seventh en route his seventh win of the season.