La New Bears wrap up season

DOMINATION: The bears sealed the season double in grand style, decimating the Macoto Cobras thanks to a solid offensive effort led by Chen Fong-min


Mon, Sep 25, 2006 - Page 20

The La New Bears, victors in the first half of the year, wrapped up the second-half title in Luodong on Saturday night with a 7-1 trouncing of the Macoto Cobras, joining the 1995 President Lions and most recently the 2002 Brother Elephants as the only teams in the league to win both halves of the season.

Pan Chung-wei's liner to left field off Cobras starter Chen Jia-hong following an RBI single by slugger Lin Chih-sheng quickly made it 2-0 in favor of the visiting Bears in the top of the first, before the hosts answered with a run of their own off Bears lefty ace Wu Si-yo in the bottom of the second to cut the Bears lead to 2-1.

Another run by the Bears in the fourth that gave the league leaders a 3-1 advantage was all the offense that either lineup could produce against Chen and Wu over the next four innings, until the Bears erupted for four runs off Macoto reliever Huang Chin-chih in the eighth, highlighted by catcher Chen Fong-min's two-run double, to pull away for the win.

Wu allowed one run on five hits with seven strikeouts over six-and-two third innings for his 16th win of the year, tying fellow teammate Kenny Rayborn and Macoto great Lin "the Little Chick" En-yu for most wins in the league.

Taking the loss for the Cobras was Chen Jia-hong, who kept his team in the game with five solid innings of three-run ball against the premier offense in the business. The rookie righty gave up seven hits before being relieved by Hsu Chu-jien in the sixth.

Offensively for the Bears, six different hitters had multi-hit nights, led by Chen Fong-min's 3-for-4 effort with three RBIs in the game.

Bulls 1, Elephants 6

It also took the Elephants four runs in the game-deciding sixth to beat the Sinon Bulls in Tienmu by a 6-1 margin on Saturday evening, mathematically eliminating the defending champs from second-half title contention.

The two clubs traded a run each in the fourth on Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan's league-leading 22nd homer of the season for the Bulls and Wang Jin-yong's sacrifice fly to deep-right for the Elephants.

After a scoreless fifth inning, the Elephants jumped all over Sinon starter Takekiyo Kouji with three runs on five hits.

Yu Wen-pin relieved Takekiyo and recorded the second out of the inning, before giving up a run-scoring single to Fong Sheng-shien that made it 5-1 for the Elephants to round out a four-run sixth that broke the game wide open.

Converted starter Wu Bao-shien limited the Bulls to a pair of hits over seven spectacular frames, cruising to his second win of the season in a rare start. His knee-buckling curve balls were painting the corner of the plate throughout the game as the former closer for the Elephants racked up six strikeouts for the game.

Doing the damage from the plate with their bats were Fong and Wang, who knocked in a pair of runs apiece to help their team win its third game in four starts.