A full-house is expected at the Chungcing Lake Baseball Field in Greater Kaohsiung this afternoon as the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) opens its 22nd season with a showdown between the Sinon Bulls and the Brother Elephants.
The highly anticipated rematch of last year’s Taiwan Series, which saw the Elephants overwhelm the Bulls in one of the biggest upsets in CPBL postseason history, will feature Elephants newcomer Tseng Song-wei — who joined the defending champions after a three-year stint in the minors with the Cleveland Indians — and his counterpart, Bulls veteran ace Yang Jien-fu.
Yang overcame disappointing back-to-back seasons with a solid outing last season to reclaim a well-deserved honor as the Opening Day starter.
Leading the potent lineup for the men in their familiar yellow uniforms will be captain and cleanup man Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min and Chou Si-chi, whose .357 and .298 batting averages respectively, with 121 combined RBIs last season, will pose a serious threat to the opposing pitchers.
The Bulls will look to their own slugger Lin Yi-chuan, who is back for his third season after two successful campaigns highlighted by the 2009 season’s Most Valuable Player honor.
A point worth mentioning in this year’s season opener is that no foreign players will appear on either batting lineup as the Bulls opted to go with an all-local roster for the season, while the Elephants have used all three of their allotted foreign players’ spots for pitchers.
The Kaohsiung fans will have an opportunity to experience a grand-scale Fan Fest that begins at 1pm at the ballpark. There will also be a fireworks display following the game.
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