Tsan Chih-yao’s clutch single that just beat the outstretched glove of Lions shortstop Kim Sang-su scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Lamigo Monkeys of Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League past the Samsung Lions of South Korea’s Korean Baseball Organization in a 3-0 shutout at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea, last night to earn the Monkeys a trip into tomorrow’s title game in this year’s Asia Series.
With the Lions infield drawn in to stop the runner on third from scoring in a 1-0 score, the speedy Monkeys outfielder, who easily won the Most Improved Player of the Year this season, managed to slap the ball through the infield to drive in the runners from second and third and up the Primates’ lead to a comfortable 3-0.
That was more than enough for the Monkeys, with starter Mike Loree of the US holding the defending champs scoreless in a three-hit gem with 11 strikeouts and no walks over nine impeccable innings to assure the Monkeys at least a second-placed finish in this year’s battle to be Asia’s best.
Lin Hong-yu’s solo blast off Lions starter Bae Young-soo broke a scoreless the bottom of the fourth to give the Monkeys a surprising 1-0 lead against the favored hosts, after neither offense was able to produce any runs over the first three frames.
The 1-0 advantage remained through the sixth with both starters holding their ground, until Shih Chih-wei led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to left. He advanced to third on an error by the Lions defense to put runners on second and third with no outs and to set up Tsan’s game-securing two-run single.
YOMIURI GIANTS 7, PERTH HEAT 1
The Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball scored seven unanswered runs after falling behind by a run to top the Australia Baseball League’s Perth Heats 7-1 in the early game in Busan yesterday afternoon.