Lions best Whales in wild match

VALIANT: A thunderous swing by veteran Lions slugger Chen Lien-hong beached the Whales in a classic seesaw affair that saw seven lead changes

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Fri, Apr 06, 2007 - Page 23

Chen Lien-hong's three-run homer in the eighth brought the President Lions back from a two-run deficit to top the Chinatrust Whales in a wild 9-8 win at Sinjhuang on Wednesday night.

The veteran slugger jumped all over a breaking ball from Whales rookie extraordinaire Nee Fu-deh and deposit it into the leftfield seats to cap a valiant comeback rally in a classic seesaw affair that featured seven lead changes.

Chen Jien-wei's two-run blast off Lions starter Tsao Jung-yang got the Whales on the board in the opening frame before the cats countered with three runs of their own in the top of the second, highlighted by Yang Dong-yi's two-run triple off Whales Su Tseh-yi to take a 3-2 lead.

The Lions lead lasted less than an inning as the Whales returned the favor in the bottom of the same inning with three RBI singles in a row that not only helped them regain a 5-3 lead but also chased Tsao in a hurry.

Hsu Fong-pin's RBI groundout off Whales reliever Du Chang-wei in the bottom of the fifth forced a 5-5 tie in the high-scoring affair before the Whales built a two-run advantage by the end of the sixth on Wang Hsin-min's sacrifice-fly to set the stage for Chen Lien-hong's thunderous, game-turning swing.

Six different pitchers made their way to the mound for the Lions, with Tseng Yi-cheng earning the win in a rare mid-relief showing. He retired all five of the Whales he faced in order, with a pair of strikeouts for the win while Kao Long-wei recorded his first save of the year by getting the final two outs in the ninth.

Taking the tough loss was Nee, who served up Chen's three-run shot for his third setback of the season.

Bulls 12, Cobras 2

Six first-inning runs by a rapid-firing offense paved the way to a 12-2 blowout win for the Sinon Bulls in a convincing win over the Macoto Cobras in Hsinchu on Wednesday evening to even the two-game set at one win apiece.

Ten Sinon batters made plate appearances in a top of the first that watched Cobras starter Hsu Chu-jien served up five singles, a triple, and three walks to string together six runs in the inning.

Although Hsu would promptly regroup and not allow another run for the next five innings before being pulled in the seventh, the damage was already done as a normally potent Cobras offense that tried to get all of the runs back at once failed miserably by mustering only two runs against Bulls starter Yu Wen-pin in five innings.

Chen Keh-fang's two-run single in the bottom of the fourth ended up being the Cobras' only offensive output on the night.

Five Bulls hitters had multi-hit games in the 18-hit outburst, led by cleanup man Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan and Hsu Guo-long's 3-for-5 efforts with three RBIs each.

Yu was credited with his first win of the year, allowing two runs on eight hits over five innings of work. He fanned four and walked none.

Suffering the loss for the Cobras was Hsu, who gave up eight of the Bulls' dozen runs in the game (six earned) to settle with a 2-1 mark for the year.

Lions 4, Whales 2

The Lions doubled up on the Whales in a 4-2 decision to open the two-game series at Hsinchu on Tuesday behind a stellar start by Rob Cordemans.

The Dutch right-hander pitched two-run ball on seven hits in as many innings for the win, beating his counterpart Shen Yu-jeh who pitched equally effective in a four-run and eight-hit outing, but fell victim to a lack of run support.

Kao Guo-ching's rifling double through the right-center gap quickly put the Lions up 1-0 in the top of the first before the Whales responded with a run in the bottom of the second to knot things up at 1-all.

Both teams would trade another run in a 2-2 contest before Lions catcher Kao Cheng-hua homered to deep-center to put his team ahead for good in the top of the fourth.

The four errors committed by the Whales defense proved costly as two of the Lions four runs in the game were direct results of errors on behalf of the Whales.

Cobras 4, Bulls 0

The Cobras opened the week by blanking the Bulls 4-0 in Sinjhuang on Tuesday night thanks to a great effort by Brazilian righty Kleber Ojima who was placed on the Macoto roster in place of an injured Ivanon Coffie.