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Updated: November 19, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Lions eliminate Golden Eagles in another Asia Series-surprise
TAICHUNG (Taiwan) - The second semi-final of the Asia Series ended in another surprise, as Taiwanese champion Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions eliminated Japanese champion Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, winning 4-1 on Tuesday-evening (November 19). On Monday, Australian champion Canberra Cavalry eliminated Korean champion Samsung Lions in the first semi-final to reach the final. With today's result, both favorites are now eliminated. It was predicted that the Korean Lions and the Golden Eagles would reach the final, with the Japanse squad being favorite for the title. Both the Lions and Golden Eagles had added some minor league-players to its Asian Series-roster. Masahiro Tanaka, who was the best pitcher this season in Japan with 24 victories and also played an important role during the Japan Series, was on the roster for the Eagles, but didn't pitch during the tournament.

The Australian and Taiwanese champion now will meet each other in the final on Wednesday.

The Lions struck early today, scoring three runs in the first inning off of starter Sho Miyagawa. Lead-off hitter Chi-hiang Lin reached on an error, then scored when Fu-hao Liu followed with a double. Moments later, Liu scored the second run when next batter Wu-hsiung Pan hit a triple. Miyagawa then struckout the next hitter, but then gave up an RBI-single to Yung-chi Chen. The inning ended with a double play, but the Lions had taken a 3-0 lead, which would be decisive for the game.

For the Golden Eagles, Takero Okajima led off the first inning with a single, but then three grounders followed.

The Lions appeared to score again in the second inning when Chi-wei Teng and Chih-kang Kao led off with singles. But then, a grounder and double play followed.

The Lions left a runner in the fourth inning, then the Eagles turned another double play in the sixth at bat. But in the seventh inning, the Taiwanese squad added an insurance run. Kuo-chin Kao led off with a double, moved on a grounder by Chi-wei Teng and scored on a single by Chih-kang Kao to make it 4-1.

The Japanese team scored its run in the second inning. Lions-starter Nelson Figueroa began the at bat with a strikeout, but then gave up singles to Shintaro Masuda and Tetsuro Nishida, then loaded the bases when he hit Tadashi Ishimine with a pitch. A sacrifice fly by Ryo Hijirisawa then produced the run, but the inning ended with a groundout.

It would be the only run the Golden Eagles scored. Figueroa went the distance for the Lions and never got into problems in the next seven innings. He retired the side in the third, fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth inning. The Eagles would reach base only two more times. In the fifth inning, Ryo Hijirisawa doubled with one out, but stranded. In the seventh inning, Shintaro Masuda reached on an error, but was eliminated in a double play. Figueroa gave up only four hits and struckout four batters, needing only 97 pitches en route to the surprise victory.

(November 19)

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