The St. Michael's Medical Response Angels sparked a four-run rally in the eighth inning to outlast IP&E-Shell Fielders, 7-5, in Thursday's Saipan Major League matchup at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
The win was St. Michael's sixth in 10 tries, while IP&E-Shell dipped on a tilt with five wins and six losses.
Meanwhile, back on Wednesday, the Saipan Stevedore Co. Yankees maintained its hold on the top spot after nosing out Rep. Yumul D-9ers (0-9), 11-8. It was the eighth win in nine games for the Yankees.
As for the rest of the field, the Tan Holdings Brewers (7-2) are in second place in front of the Aces (6-3), while the Rep. Sylvester Iguel Masters (1-8) are out of the running via forfeit rule.
The season continues at the Tan Ko field on Monday at 6:30pm with the Aces taking on the Yankees.
St. Michael's 7, IP&E-Shell 5
Angels' T.J. Cruz busted a two-RBI single in the first inning, but the IP&E-Shell Fielders promptly answered with three runs in the bottom frame for a slim 3-2 edge out of the gate.
IP&E-Shell's Wens Namelo drove in Anthony Tenorio and made it home off an error, while teammate Marvin Ngeskebei singled on and also scored off some extra chucks around the diamond.
Angels' Nick Cruz later tied it at 3-all in the third inning with a base knock that scored T.J. Cruz, however IP&E-Shell capitalized on more defensive blunders in the fifth inning and went ahead, 5-3.
Three hits to start the inning enabled IP&E-Shell's Joe Basa and Tenorio to cross the plate thanks to a costly infield error; notably, IP&E-Shell's Elton Santos was relieved on the hump by Jimmy Brel in the fourth inning.
He did a good job keeping the rival squad at bay, but ended up being tapped after a leadoff walk in the eighth inning and was replaced by Brandon Santos, who was replaced by Shane Mendiola by the end of the frame.
Brandon Santos plunked two batters in a short stint on the mound.
Angels' Marvin Kaipat delivered the game-tying single with one out and league batting champ John Reyes obliged with another two-RBI single to right field for the lead.
IP&E-Shell was stuffed in the bottom frame and ended the game with a man on third base.
Angels pitcher Manny Cabrera went all nine rounds and gave up just one earned run off nine hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. The walk came in the ninth inning and he canned seven put outs and 10 on the ground.
Saipan Stevedore Yankees 11, Rep. Yumul-D-9ers 8
Saipan Stevedore Yankees established a 6-0 margin in the first two innings and held off a last-inning uprising to secure the win.
They bashed four hits, including a pair of RBI singles by Jon Salas and Greg Iskawa, for its first three runs and added another three in the second from a two-RBI triple by Ben Jones Jr. and an RBI base rip by David Camacho.
Yankees' Chris Camacho drove home Salas for another run in the fourth inning before the D-9ers finally hit the board in the top of the fifth. D-9ers' E.J. Tenorio doubled around B.J. Lizama, but the Yankees quickly countered with three runs in the bottom portion and pulled away, 10-1. Some errors complemented an RBI single by Jerome Delos Santos and a sacrifice fly by Iskawa.
Both teams traded runs in the seventh as D-9ers' Andave Camacho singled in Ton Castro in the top half, and Angels' Camacho scored Jones Jr.
The D-9ers mustered a run in the eighth and then managed a five-run gash in the ninth before the Angels put a lid on the match.
D-9ers bashed six hits at the end of regulation, including a two-RBI single by Castro, an RBI single from Camacho, a sacrifice fly by Lawrence Dikito, and an RBI base smash by Lizama.
Jones Jr. batted 3-for-5 with two RBIs, three runs, and three stolen bases. Salas went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs.