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Updated: November 20, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Canberra Cavalry wins Asia Series!
TAICHUNG (Taiwan) - Canberra Cavalry is the surprising winner of the Asia Series. On Wednesday-evening (November 20), the Australian champion convincingly won 14-4 vs. Taiwanese champion Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions to capture the Asia Series-title. It marks the first time that a non-Asian team wins the event.

The first four editions were all won by teams from Japan. In the first four events, the champions of Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China participated. In 2009, there was no tournament, due to financial reasons, as the main sponsor had withdrawn. Instead, the champions of Japan and Korea met in a single game in which Yomiuri Giants (Japan) won 9-4 vs. Kia Tigers (Korea). It was planned to continue with the Asia Series in 2010, but then it was cancelled due to a conflict with the Asian Games, which were held in China in the same period and also included baseball as one of the sports. This time, the champions of Korea, Taiwan and Japan met in a mini-series. SK Wyverns (Korea) played against Brother Elephants (Taiwan), then met Chiba Lotte Mariners (Japan), losing 3-0.

Asia Series winners
2005Chiba Lotte Marines (Japan)
2006Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (Japan)
2007Chunichi Dragons (Japan)
2008Saitama Seibu Lions (Japan)
2009no tournament
2010no tournament
2011Samsung Lions (South Korea)
2012Yomiuri Giants (Japan)
2013Canberra Cavalry (Australia)
The Asia Series then continued again in 2011 and then was won by Samsung Lions from South Korea. Starting in 2011, the participation of the tournament was then expanded with the champion of the Australian Baseball League. Last year, Yomiuri Giants became the fifth Japanese club to win the event. This year, the winner of the European Champions Cup participated for the first time, which was Unipol Fortitudo Bologna from Italy.

Tonight, the Australian champion surprised again. The team already had eliminated Korean champion Samsung Lions on Monday in the semi-final and tonight, Canberra defeated the Taiwanese champion with a big score. The Aussies were leading 14-4 after eight innings, but the game continued, as there was no mercy-rule in the final.

Canberra initially took a 2-0 lead in the first at bat, but then, the Lions held a 4-2 lead after three innings. The scoring then stopped for the Taiwanese squad, while the Australians narrowed the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth inning. The Cavalry then rallied for five runs in the seventh inning and added a 6-run rally in the eighth to register a big 14-4 victory and win the event. Besides winning big, Canberra also outhit the Lions 20-10. Mitch Dening went 5-for-5 and scored three runs, while batting in two. Catcher Jack Murphy was 2-for-4 with one run and seven runs batted in. Murphy was named Most Valuable Player of the event.

Canberra opened the score with two runs in the first inning off of starter Wei-lun Pan. Jon Berti led off with a single, then Mitch Dening reached on a bunt-single. Casey Frawley then flied out, but that advanced Berti to third base. Moments later, Dening stole second base, while Jeremy Barnes struckout. Jack Murphy followed with a 2-run single to give Canberra an early lead. In the semi-final, the lefthanded hitting Murphy homered in the tenth inning to give the Aussies a renewed lead en route to a victory and the clinching of the final.

In the second inning, the Lions came alongside off of starter Ethan Cole. Tai-chi Kuo reached on an error, advanced on a grounder, then Kuo-ching Kao walked. Chi-wei Teng followed with a runscoring single. With two outs, Chao-ting Tang also singled to tie the score.

The Taiwanese champion then took a 4-2 lead by scoring two more runs in the third inning. Fu-hao Liu led off with a single, but was forced out on a grounder by Wu-hsiung Pan. An error was then made on a force play-grounder by Tai-chi Kuo, followed by a runscoring single by Yung-chi Chen, which brought Kuo to third base. After Chen had stolen second base, Kuo-ching Kao added another RBI-single that made it 4-2. It also led to a pitching change, as Eric Massingham took over for Cole.

Massingham and three relievers then held the Lions scoreless in the remainder of the game. Massingham gave up three hits in three innings, but saw the Lions reach second and third base in the sixth inning. Mike Ekstrom took over and pitched 1 2/3 hitless innings. In the eighth, Brendan Wise gave up one hit, as did Sean Toler in the ninth inning.

...Asian Series-champion Canberra Cavalry...
(© Photo: Asian Series)
Canberra got one run back in the fourth inning. Mike Crouse and Michael Wells led off with singles to put runners at the corners. Next, Aaron Sloan grounded into a double play, but that brought in Crouse.

After two scoreless innings, Canberra struck with five runs in the seventh inning to take a 8-4 lead. Chian-san Kao took over the pitching for the Lions in the seventh. He gave up a lead-off single to Shane Opitz, followed by an RBI-triple by Jon Berti that tied the score (4-4). American pitcher Boof Bonser then was brought in as new pitcher, but was greeted with an RBI-single by Mitch Dening that gave Canberra a 5-4 lead. Casey Frawley then also singled and Jeremy Barnes walked to load the bases. Canberra then added another run on a sacrifice fly by Jack Murphy. With two outs, the two runners advanced on a wild pitch, then both scored when Michael Wells followed with a 2-run single. A flyout ended the rally.

In the next inning, Canberra staged a 6-run rally off of three relievers to increase its lead to 14-4. Tziu-kai Chiu started the inning and gave up a lead-off double to Shane Opitz. The lefthander then gave up an RBI-double to Jon Berti and an RBI-single to Mitch Dening, his fifth hit in the game. Hereafter, Chiu was replaced by Yueh-ping Lin, but he saw Canberra load the bases when Casey Frawley singled and Jeremy Barnes walked. That brought in new pitcher Ching-ming Wang to face Jack Murphy, who then accounted for the highlight of the evening by hitting a grand slam homerun on a 2-1 pitch to make it 14-4. With hit homerun, Murphy got seven runs batted in tonight.

The Canberra Cavalry-team returns home on Friday-morning in the Australian capital. They don't have time to relax, as they will meet Brisbane Bandits in the evening in the first game of a 4-games series in the Australian Baseball League. The two teams play a double-header on Saturday, then play the fourth game on Sunday.

With the championship, Canberra Cavalry not only won the Asia Series-trophy, it also earned 13 million Taiwanese dollars (which is 440.239 American dollars or 325.452 Euros).

(November 20)

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