Huang En-tsu’s seventh-inning single with the bases loaded scored the go-ahead runs for the Uni-President Lions as they went on to defeat the Chinatrust Brother Elephants 3-1 at the Tianmu Baseball Stadium in Taipei last night to clinch the weekend series by a 2-1 margin.
The third-year infielder has more than fulfilled coach Chen Lien-hung’s expectations in his first season as a full-time starter with a solid .319 average and nine RBIs to give the bottom of the Lions lineup added punch.
His continued success could make the Cats’ already awesome slugging corp that features future Hall-of-Famer Chang “OEO” Tai-shan, current RBI leader Chen Yung-chi and Deng Chih-wei (third in the league in batting) that bit more dangerous.
“I knew it was a chance for me to shine the minute [the Elephants] walked [Chang] Tai-shan and I’m glad it worked out well for me,” Huang said after the game.
His late-inning heroics also wasted yet another quality start by Elephants starter Lin Yu-ching, who went the distance with three allowed runs on six hits to bring his quality-start total to three straight, but with only a dismal 1-1 record to show for it in a losing effort.
Lin Wei-chu’s run-scoring single off Lions starter Wang Ching-ming in the top of the first got things moving in the right direction for the visitors, but the 1-0 lead lasted less than an inning as the Lions were quick to return the favor with a run of their own in the bottom of the same frame when Kuo Chun-yo beat out a grounder to short for an infield single and scored on Pan “TAKE” Wu-hsiung’s double on the ensuing play to make it 1-1.
That was all the runs that either offense could muster through the sixth inning, with both Lin and Wang holding their ground in a pitchers’ duel, before Huang delivered the game-winning blow in the seventh.
The Elephants made things interesting when Chang Chih-hao led off the top of the ninth with a clean single off Boof Bonser to bring the tying run to the plate with no outs, but the Lions closer managed to retire the next three hitters on three straight fly outs to preserve the victory for Wang.
MONKEYS 2, RHINOS 1
The Lamigo Monkeys continued their mastery of one-run games by topping the EDA Rhinos 2-1 at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night to sweep the series.
Shoda Itsuki pitched seven scoreless innings of shutout ball to lift the Primates past their foes in their fifth straight win.