Mon, Apr 02, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Fans celebrate Wang Wei-chung’s wins in KBO league

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Pitcher Wang Wei-chung warms up prior to a game on Tuesday.

Photo: Ni Wan-chun, Taipei Times

Sports fans and media have shifted their attention to South Korean baseball to follow the outstanding performances of Taiwanese pitcher Wang Wei-chung, who in the opening week of South Korea’s pro league already nailed two wins in his first two starts.

As starting pitcher for the NC Dinos in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), Wang impressed fans and experts alike with his repertoire of fastball, slider, curve and other off-speed pitches in an opening day victory against the LG Twins on March 24, before defeating the Lotte Giants on Friday last week.

In the process, Wang has helped the NC Dinos to the top of the KBO standings to share first place with the SK Wyverns, as both teams have eight wins and two losses after eight games.

Wang has already made history as the first Taiwanese baseball player to join a South Korean team, blazing a new trail for youth prospects from Taiwan, encouraging them to consider a foreign career in the KBO, the US’ MLB and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.

Wang, born in Taitung County, first went to US after signing a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011.

The 25-year-old lefty pitcher spent the past seven years in the farm system of the Milwaukee Brewers in the US, although he did play briefly in 22 game appearances for the Brewers in 2014 and last year.

However, he got a new start this year when the NC Dinos agreed on terms with the Brewers organization and signed him to a one-year US$900,000 contract.

The southpaw impressed his new team enough during spring training for Wang to get the all-important assignment to pitch the opening game.

Wang did not disappoint, leading to the NC Dinos to a 4-2 triumph over the LG Twins, where he yielded only one run through seven innings and was named MVP.

“It was very important for me to achieve this victory on opening day,” Wang said after the game. “My goal is to help the NC Dinos win the championship this year.”

In the Friday contest, Wang sailed through five scoreless innings to have his team lead 5-2 before departing in the sixth, while the NC Dinos went on to prevail over the Lotte Giants 7-5.

For weekend action in Taiwan’s CPBL, the Lamigo Monkeys retained first place by doubling up on the Brother Elephants 6-3 in Taichung, as the Fubon Guardians at home in New Taipei City beat the 7-Eleven Lions 5-0 on Saturday.

In games from last night, the 7-Eleven Lions clobbered the Fubon Guardians 3-0, while the Lamigo Monkeys won 12-2 over Brother Elephants.

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