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BASEBALL/Nearly 20,000 pack Taipei Dome for CPBL pre-season game

03/16/2024 09:32 PM
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CPBL fans flood the Taipei Dome on Saturday. CNA photo March 16, 2024
CPBL fans flood the Taipei Dome on Saturday. CNA photo March 16, 2024

Taipei, March 16 (CNA) Taiwan's professional baseball league saw a record-high turnout for a pre-season game, with nearly 20,000 fans gathering in the Taipei Dome for the match between the Wei Chuan Dragons and the CTBC Brothers on Saturday.

A sellout crowd of 19,898 packed the first-ever Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) pre-season game at the dome, far higher than the previous record of 7,068 set in 2015 in a pre-season game that featured the Brothers and the Lamigo Monkeys (now Rakuten Monkeys).

In the bottom of the first inning, the game saw Giljegiljaw Kungkuan crack a two-run blast for the league's first homer at the venue, leading the defending champions to a 6-1 victory on seven hits.

Meanwhile, the Brothers' batters had a sluggish night, with the sole hit coming from Huang Wei-sheng (黃韋盛), whose double in the top of the eighth sent Chiang Kun-yu (江坤宇) back home.

In their exhibition game with the Yomiuri Giants from the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) on March 2, the Brothers also struggled at the batter's box and had seven scoreless innings before scoring their only run in the eighth, eventually losing to the Japanese powerhouse 4-1.

CTBC Brothers fans follow the lead of the team's cheerleaders during the Saturday game in Taipei Dome. CNA photo March 16, 2024
CTBC Brothers fans follow the lead of the team's cheerleaders during the Saturday game in Taipei Dome. CNA photo March 16, 2024

Saturday's game was one of the two pre-season games held at the newly inaugurated multi-functional indoor stadium, through which the league hopes to get franchises, players and its staffers familiar with the environment.

The other game, featuring the Brothers and the Fubon Guardians, will take place on Sunday. About 15,000 tickets had been sold as of Friday.

Tickets to an exhibition game at the Taipei Dome are priced at NT$500 (US$15.81) each and can be purchased at ibon vending machines at 7-Eleven convenience stores or on the ibon ticketing platform.

The 2024 CPBL season opener, slated for March 30, will also take place at the dome, with the Dragons hosting the Monkeys.

(By Yang Chi-fang and Chao Yen-hsiang)

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