Defending champion Saipan Stevedore Northern Yankees are off to a strong start, capping a pair of victories since opening day of the Saipan Major League Baseball Association's 2013 season at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
The Yankees started the show by downing the Tan Holding Brewers, 12-8, in last Feb. 11's traditional finals rematch and then run-ruled the D-9ers, 13-2, in eight innings last Friday.
Last Wednesday's scheduled pairing between the IT&E Fielders and St. Michael's Medical Response Angels was rescheduled due to heavy rain and the season continued last night at Tan Ko Field with IT&E taking on the Ol'Aces.
Yankees 12, Brewers 8
The Yankees got right to work and posted up five runs in the bottom of the opening frame off three hits, including an RBI triple by clean-up man Jerome Delos Santos who scored soon after off a passed ball. The other runs came in off errors and a wild pitch.
The Brewers would remain silent for the next three frames, while the Yankees would trudge further ahead, 9-0, with four runs in the top of the third inning off one hit, some sketchy pitching, and a sacrifice fly by Greg Iskawa.
The Yankees went on to add two more runs in the fourth off three hits before the Brewers finally hit the board.
The Brew Crew managed to decrease its deficit to 5-11 in the bottom of the fifth inning of a couple of early errors and three hits including an RBI single by Diego Camacho, but the Yankees would hold on through the final four innings of regulation though Brewers' Leonard Sablan hustled out an inside-the-park home run to right field in the eighth inning that also brought around Juan Iguel.
Brewers' Jared Sablan and Yankees' Jack Castro also singled on and scored for their respective teams in the sixth and seventh exchanges.
Yankees' Greg Camacho swung 3-for-4 with three runs, while Iskawa went 2-for-2 with am RBI and a sacrifice fly.
Yankees 13, D-9ers 2
The Yankees managed a couple of runners in both the first and third innings, but the D-9ers kept them away from the plate.
The Yankees' defense started off even more efficient and logged four three up and three down exchanges from the get go, but the D-9ers pierced its armor with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning off two hits and a fielder's choice.
Rocco Reyes and Martin Sablan both led off the frame with base knocks and the former scored after a couple of connections by Andave Camacho and Juan Acosta.
The D-9ers had capped a couple of 1-2-3 innings to close the fourth and fifth frames, but the Yankees' Brian Camacho responded to the icebreaker with a one swing of the bat run in the top of the sixth inning to tie the match at 1-1.
According to eyewitness' accounts he belted an opposite field high fly over the right field fence with ease.
The D-9ers' then took a brief 2-1 lead in the bottom frame from some pitching blips that led to a sacrifice bunt by Isaiah Lizama, scoring Perry Tudela who drew a leadoff walk.
The D-9ers did not capitalize on the opportunity and ended up stranded on the corners after losing a third in the path, however and it came back to haunt them in a big way in the top of the seventh.
The Yankees were still reeling off the towering jack by its new addition that ultimately knocked D-9ers' starting pitcher B.J. Lizama and jumped all over reliever Dave Jones for 10 runs.
They loaded the bases off a hit, an error and a walk that was followed by two more walks and back-to-back two-RBI doubles by David and Brian Camacho.
The D-9ers first out came off a sacrifice fly by Jerome Delos Santos, but the group stumbled again with a pass and two errors that allowed three more runs to the dish before opting for a second pitching change.
Ton Castro took the ball and stopped the bleeding though one scampered in on his watch for an 11-1 changing of the guard for the reigning champs.
Yankees reliever David Camacho recovered nicely after giving up run at the start of shift in the sixth and kept the D-9ers at bay in the seventh and eight to secure the save.
Yankees starter T.J. Agulto gave up a run off two hits and a walk with five strikeouts through five innings.