The saying "No lead is safe enough in the game of baseball" could not have been more appropriate than for Thursday night's contest between the La New Bears and the Sinon Bulls.
The league-leading Bears saw their 9-0 lead vanish in a nine-run sixth from the Bulls before coming up with a pair of runs in the game-deciding eighth and holding on to win by 11-9 at Hsinchu.
Bears starter Kenny Rayborn seemed well on his way for his would-be league-best 16th win of the year pitching five solid innings of shutout ball to take a 9-0 lead into the sixth.
Then everything took a dreadful turn south for the American hurler as the Bulls tattooed him for eight runs (four unearned) before ringing up another off reliever Lee Fong-hua to tie the game up at 9-all.
It took a two-run single by top RBI man Chen Chin-fong in the top of the eighth for the Bears to regain an 11-9 advantage, a lead they would hold on to win and avoid an otherwise embarrassing loss.
The game was all Bears through the top of the sixth with Chen's three-run homer in the third and Lin Chih-sheng's two-run blast in the sixth, both off Sinon starter Alfredo Gonzalez, leading a potent attack that scored nine runs with ease, before the Bulls answered with nine runs of their own to even things up at 9-all in the bottom of the sixth.
Helped by two deadly errors on the part of the La New defense and a wild pitch from Lee, Sinon sent 14 batters to the plate to pound out eight singles and a three-run home run by Su Jien-rong in the biggest comeback of the year.
Bears 4, Bulls 3
Chiang Chih-tsong's solo shot off Sinon starter Billy Sylvester in the top of the eighth broke a 2-2 deadlock between the two teams in Sinjhuang on Friday night as the Bears edged the Bulls in a 4-3 decision for their second win against the defending champs in as many days.
Extending their red-hot hitting from the night before, the Bears cranked out two runs off Sylvester in the top of the second with Chiang's sacrifice fly to deep-right followed by catcher Chen Fong-min's RBI single to shallow-left.
The Bears 2-0 lead was halved by the Bulls in the bottom of the second when first baseman Hsu Guo-long led off the inning with a standup double off Bears starter Anthony Fiore and scored on Luo Song-yong's timely single one out later.
Sinon quickly forced a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the third on an opposite-field single by Huang Chung-yi that scored outfielder Yu Hsien-ming, who also led off the inning with a clean double off Fiore.
The Bears would add on an insurance run in the eighth following Chiang's solo homer to make it 4-2 which proved crucial as the Bulls rallied with a run in the ninth off Bears closer Ramon Morel before the Dominican righty got the final three outs to preserve the win for the Bears against his former team.