The Lamigo Monkeys won their second league title in the team’s team history by edging past the Uni-President Lions in a 3-2 final in Game Five of this year’s Taiwan Series at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium on Thursday night, claiming the annual Fall Classic by a convincing 4-1 margin.
Tsan Chih-yao’s diving catch with two outs on a liner by the Lions’ Kao Chih-kang, which would have tied the game at 3-3 with the tying run in scoring position, ended the Lions’ hopes as the Monkeys rushed onto the field to celebrate the hard-earned title.
His Major League-caliber catch will definitely make the highlights video for the annual Fall Classic for years to come.
Taking home the coveted series-MVP honor was a very deserving Lin Chih-sheng, who batted a stunning eight-for-17 (.471) with three home runs and seven RBIs to lead the Monkeys past the defending champs.
Also starring for the Monkeys was Chen Guan-ren, whose four RBIs over a seven-for-21 series following a .369 batting average after being traded to the Monkeys by the Brother Elephants, made a genius out of skipper Hung Yi-chung.
He had spent six seasons with the Elephants before being traded. The lefty slugger complimented the entire Lamigo organization for giving him a second chance to do the job that he knows best.
Things did not go the Monkeys’ way in the opening frame as starter and game-winner Tseng Jau-hao gave up back-to-back base hits to the Lions’ Chen Yong-chi and Yang Song-hsuan in what ended up being a two-run first to lead off the contest.
However, the righty out of National Chiayi University regained his composure and retired all but two of the next 17 Lions batters he faced over five shutout innings to give his offense an opportunity to get back into the game.
That was exactly what he got as the Monkeys offense fought back with a run of their own in the bottom of the first.
They then tied the game at 2-2 in the third when Chen Guan-ren doubled and scored on a base hit by Lin Hong-yu, before taking a 3-2 lead in the fifth on an RBI-single by Kuo Yen-wen.