Mon, Oct 08, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Lions’ Verdugo sees first CPBL perfect game

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Uni-President Lions’ Ryan Verdugo pitches against the Brothers Baseball Club at Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium yesterday.

Photo: Huang Chih-yuan, Taipei Times

Starting pitcher Ryan Verdugo made history yesterday for the Uni-President Lions when he pitched the first and only perfect game in Taiwanese professional baseball history against the Brothers Baseball Club at the Lions’ home park in Tainan.

Verdugo, a native of Pasadena, California, mowed down all 27 batters faced in the 1-0 victory, without issuing a walk and without the Lions fielders committing any errors.

The lefty, who had a stint with the Kansas City Royals in 2012, threw 92 pitches to get eight strikeouts, with no hits, no errors and no runs yielded on the night, giving him an 8-4 record in 26 starts and an ERA of 4.31.

The game was a tightrope thriller that remained scoreless on both sides into the ninth inning.

At the bottom of the ninth, Lions third baseman Kuo Fu-lin faced Brothers reliever Yang Chih-lung with the contest still nil-nil.

Kuo swung at a strike, fouled the next and then slammed a change-up from Yang over the center wall for a walk-off home run to end the game.

It goes down in the record books as the first perfect game in the Chinese Professional Baseball League’s (CPBL) 29-year history.

Only 23 perfect games have been officially recorded in the US’ Major Leagues during its 140-year history.

As Kuo’s hit sailed over the wall, the ballpark erupted in euphoric cheers, and the Lions players poured onto the field to savor the historic moment.

Teammates mobbed Verdugo in a sustained celebration, and he shook the hand of every Lions player and embraced Kuo, who was trotting across home plate.

“This is an amazing win, and my teammates really helped out with their outstanding defense,” Verdugo said. “But we still needed the walk-off home run by Kuo to have this perfect game tonight.”

Verdugo also gave credit to catcher Lin Yu-le.

“We were both on the same wavelength — I could not have asked for more,” Verdugo said.

Kuo, the game’s other hero, said that he was thinking about taking a big swing when he went up to bat.

“It was a fantastic game, and a huge morale booster. I believe we can ride this momentum to the playoffs, and continue it into the Taiwan Series finals,” Kuo said, as the Lions are to face the Fubon Guardians in the first round of post-season play.

This story has been viewed 2928 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top