The Saipan Stevedore Company Yankees brought along their sticks on Tuesday night and pelted the defending champions St. Michael's Medical Response Angels, 13-2, as the Saipan Major League Baseball Association's playoffs got underway at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
The Yankees and Angels started the playoff round after the initial semis opening game between pennant champions Tan Holdings Brewers and IT&E-Shell Fielders last Monday was rained-out.
The IT&E-Shell Fielders were awarded the fourth and last playoff berth after the second-ranked Aces were disqualified from the post season for failure to pay their entrance fee. With the Aces out of the playoffs, the Yankees moved into the No. 2 spot and the Angels climbed up to third spot to set up their best-of-three semis series.
Game 2 of the Yankees-Angels semis showdown is scheduled tonight at 6:30pm. Weather permitting, the other semis duel between the Brewers and the wild card Fielders will get rolling early next week.
The Yankees scored the first run at the start of the playoffs, as Greg Isakawa drove in leadoff man Ben Jones Jr. in the opening frame. The Angels' TJ Cruz snuck around off errors to knot it back up in the top half of the second inning.
The Yankees' Jack Castro responded in the bottom portion and escorted John Salas to the plate in the next frame and they moved in front, 5-1, in the third inning off a pair of back to back doubles from Jerome Delos Santos and Salas, and an RBI single from TJ Agulto.
The Yankees silenced the Angels through the fourth and fifth exchanges and then catapulted ahead, 10-1, in the bottom of the fifth off four booming drives. Chris Camacho led off with a double and scored in front of Gary Cruz after an error and another double by Delos Santos. David Camacho kept it going with an RBI base rip and Castro drove in another run before Jones Jr. signed off with an RBI triple.
A base hit from Nick Cruz accounted for the Angels' lone run in the top of the sixth inning and what was an ever-efficient Yankees squad put the run-rule into effect in the bottom side.
Some shaky pitching gifted the Yanks two runners and Salas capitalized on the errors with a solid RBI double. Birthday boy Camacho stepped in next and pulled out the go-ahead two-RBI base smash before stepping on the hump to close the match. Camacho took the ball with zero outs in the sixth and bagged three RBIs.
Yankees starter Dave Jones gave up one unearned run off three hits, four walks, a pair of hit batsmen, and two strikeouts through five innings.
Delos Santos and Salas both went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, three runs, and a base on balls.