Lions pummel Brothers in Luodong

NOT UP TO STANDARD::The teams criticized the aging Luodong ballpark, which has not hosted a CPBL match in five years and experienced a blackout during the game

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Jul 23, 2016 - Page 16

CPBL fans in Yilan County’s Luodong Township (羅東) were treated to a rare baseball feast on Thursday night, as the Uni-President Lions demolished the Brothers Baseball Club 22-13 in a record-breaking game.

It was the first time a CPBL game has been played at the Luodong ballpark in five years and the two teams did not disappoint the capacity crowd as they combined for 41 hits, including four home runs and 10 doubles.

With their bats pummeling the Brothers’ pitches, the Uni-President Lions cranked out 22 hits and scored 22 runs, setting a new franchise record for the most runs in a game. The previous record was 21 runs.

Both sides turned up their offense to push baserunners home for a total of 35 runs, which was the second-highest total in CPBL history.

Center fielder Luo Kuo-lung took charge for the Lions, with one home run and two doubles among his six hits, to go with eight RBIs and five runs.

The haul was not only a career high for Luo, but also tied the league’s record for a regular-season game.

The CPBL said that it had not scheduled a game at the Luodong ballpark for the past five years because it is a small venue with a capacity of 5,000 people.

Due to a lack of regular use, the Yilan County Government had to make repairs to the ballpark before the game, such as fixing up the dressing rooms and making sure the field was ready.

However, the fans’ explosive enthusiasm seemed too much for the aging facility to handle, when in the bottom of the sixth inning the ballpark’s electricity grid overloaded, plunging the game into darkness.

Spectators took out their mobile phones for lighting, while the teams’ cheerleaders started an impromptu music concert.

The game resumed after a 30-minute delay.

After the resumption of play, the hits kept coming, with both sides piling on 10 more runs in the final three frames.

The game ended after five hours, which was the longest game so far this season.

Yilan County sports officials apologized for the blackout and promised to provide more funding for maintenance and repair work at the ballpark, which the teams said was not up to the standard they are used to.

In Thursday’s other contest, “Taiwan Big Cannon” Chen Chin-feng slammed a three-run homer to lead the Lamigo Monkeys over the EDA Rhinos in a 14-10 victory at home in Taoyuan.

Chen, who is widely acknowledged as Taiwan’s best hitter in international games and is scheduled to retire at the end of the current season, has been drawing large crowds throughout his final campaign.

He went two-for-two, with a homer in the sixth inning — his 13th this season — and a single in the eighth inning to drive in a run for four RBIs.