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    Rookies give amateurs a lesson in how to get hits

    By Paul Huang
    CONTRIBUTING REPORTER
    Sunday, Jul 18, 2004, Page 23

    Shih Chih-wei (�ۧӰ�) and Lin Chih-sheng (�L����) showed their amateur brethrens the big league difference as the rookie bashing tandem of the La New Bears lit up the Hsinchuang sky with a combined 7-for-8 performance in the first ever Future All-Star Game on Friday night.

    The contest between the top rookies in Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League (Team Read) and the best amateurs currently playing in the minor-league system (Team White) was won by Team Red in a 12-7 final.

    Shih's perfect 4-for-4 night made him the runaway MVP winner. The Bears' first-round draft choice is enjoying a fine rookie season with a team-high .283 batting average and 30 RBI.

    His 71 hits so far place him third in the league, behind Brother Elephants' hitting machines Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-ming (�^�F�{) with 90 and Chen "the Golden Warrior" Chih-yuan (���P��) with 73.

    "I'm grateful to the veteran hitters on the team for showing me a lot of their techniques," Shih said in the post-game interview. "I wouldn't have improved as much and as quickly if it weren't for them."

    He took home a crystal trophy on top of a check for NT$100,000.

    Lin missed hitting for the cycle by a home run, as the first-year shortstop belted a single, a double, and a rare triple off three different Team White pitchers that had fans chanting "Lin Chih-sheng, home run!" during his entire final at-bat.

    "I guess I was trying too hard in the fourth-and-final at-bat to get the cycle," Lin said after the game. "It was, nonetheless, a great experience."

    Team Red jumped to a 8-0 lead after two frames against starter Cheng Jia-ming (�G�ũ�) of Team White, before the amateurs scored seven third-inning runs against Chinatrust Whales reliever Luo Jien-ming (ù�ػ�) to make it 8-7.

    Red relievers Wu Sih-yo (�d�T��), Hsu Yu-wei (�}�E��) and Wang Guo-jing (����i) combined to blank the younger Team White the rest of the way.

    Budding Bear talent Tsai Jien-wei (���ذ�), Chang Ming-jeh (�i����) and Tseng Hern-chang (�����), whose six hits in addition to the seven by Shih and Lin accounted for 13 of Team Red's total of 19.

    "With this kind of talent waiting to explode, this team [the Bears] could be very dangerous as soon as next season," baseball commentator Tseng Wen-cheng (�����) said.

    Heavy thunderstorms earlier in the afternoon caused the home-run contest to be cancelled.
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