Back-to-back wins over the Macoto Cobras earlier this week has upped the La New Bears' victory total to 19 and counting for the second half and 37 and counting for the year, setting the new-and-improved club well on its way to 40 victories for the year.
Despite a slow start, the Bears (formerly the First Securities Agan) have gone on a recent surge by going 10-5 in their last 15 contests, playing above-.500 ball over a ten-game stretch for the first time in team history.
Even though his troops are still quite a way from their ultimate goal -- winning a league championship -- rookie skipper Hung Yi-chung (
Leading the way for the Bears' recent offensive outpour are rookie sluggers Lin Chih-sheng (
Tuesday night's series opener in Hsinchuang had the Cobras drawing first blood on RBI singles by Shih Shiang-kai (
Other than the two-run third, Bear starter Liang Rue-hao (
Game 2 on Wednesday featured a classic pitchers' duel where Bear starter Cory Bailey outpitched Cobra lefty ace Lin Ying-jeh (
The loss was Lin Ying-jeh's first in over two months, snapping his seven-game winning streak that began ironically with a win over these same Bears on July 27th.
Offensively for the Bears, the spot light fell on Shih Chih-wei, whose 2-for-4 night with the game-winning RBI earned him the game-MVP honor for the night.
Also in action were the Elephants in a make-up game against the league-leading President Lions on Tuesday where Peng Cheng-ming's three-run homer paved the way to victory for the Elephants in the 7-2 decision.
A wild Yokota Hisanori issued an uncharacteristic six walks over the six frames he worked, negating an otherwise decent, two-hit effort. The 37-year-old former All-Star for the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League has not been sharp in his last three outings, going 1-2 with a 17-plus ERA in the same span. His inability to give the Elephants the quality starts that they have grown accustomed to could mean trouble as the race for the second-half title heats up down the stretch.
Huang Kwei-yu's (黃貴裕) two-run, opposite-field double in the bottom of the seventh lifted the Chinatrust Whales past the Sinon Bulls in Wednesday's 5-4 thriller. With his team down 3-4, Huang drove the pitch from Sinon set-up man Ho Chi-shien (何紀賢) down the first-base line to put his team ahead for good and made a winner out of fellow rookie reliever Tseng Jau-hao (曾兆豪) in his first career victory.