The Saipan Stevedore Co. Northern Yankees continue to thrive atop the standings as the defending champions extended its undefeated streak to four, while the IT&E Fielders bounced back with a win after coming up short in its debut in last week's Saipan Major League Baseball Association's matchups at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
The Yankees hung on and narrowly escaped the St. Michael's Medical Response Angels (1-2), 5-4, on Friday night, while IT&E stood up the Tan Holdings Brewers (2-2), 11-10, last Wednesday.
The action continues at Tan Ko Field tonight at 6:30pm with IT&E taking on the D-9ers (0-3); five teams complete the field.
Yankees 5, Angels 4
It was a tied ballgame, 1-1, as both teams put a run on the board in the second inning, but the Yankees quickly spurted ahead, 3-1, in the ensuing frame with patience at the plate and the help of some untimely errors as the Angels continued to work out the bugs from the previous exchange.
Jerome Delos Santos drew a walk, stole second base, and scored off a wild pitch after being moved to third off an error, while Greg Camacho spanked a double and scored off an error up the middle.
Then the Yankees secured a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and fortunately so, as the Angels postured a legitimate rally in the late innings.
Yankees' Robert Bansil and Ben Jones started off the inning with a single and a triple followed by a sacrifice fly by Delos Santos.
Going back to earlier in the match, the Angels knocked Yankees starting pitcher Bobbie Castro off the mound in the second inning, however they struggled against reliever Ton Benavente on his five-inning watch.
Benavente denied the Angels access to the plate through the thick of the match until finally getting touched at the start of the eighth inning.
Angels' Jesus Iguel hit a one-out single and stole two bases before trotting home off a wild pitch, which ultimately led to Dave Camacho being tapped to close the match with one out left in the frame.
Camacho had some control issues upon stepping to the hump for the last three outs, but reclaimed his composure with his back against the wall and logged two strikeouts to end it.
Winning pitcher Benavente gave up one earned run off five hits, a walk and a bean ball.
Yankees' Bansil batted 3-for-3 with a run and a stolen base.
Fielders 11, Brewers 10
The Brewers imposed a commanding 6-0 lead in the very first inning off crummy pitching, but the Fielders did not wilt in the face of adversity; after a leadoff single to start the game the Brewers' were gifted five walks, an error, and a pair of hit batsmen.
IT&E only responded with one run in the bottom portion, but added three more in the second inning off two hits and a fielder's choice and then pulled in front, 8-6, in the third inning with another four runs off three hits that resulted in RBI singles for Shane Mendiola and Joseph Palacios and a two-RBI base smash by Jordan Pangelinan. IT&E's Juan Maratita also busted a two-RBI single back in the second inning.
IT&E's Richard Dela Cruz singled and made it around in the fourth inning and the squad plated its last two runs in the fifth inning and went on to keep a lid on the Brewers after the stretch.
The Brewers managed one run in the top of the seventh inning and threatened IT&E with a quick three runs in the final stand, but the latter would not be denied.
IT&E's Palacios batted 2-for-4 with an RBI, three runs, and a base on balls. Mendiola swung 2-for-3 for an RBI, two runs, and a base on ball. Pangelinan went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs. Brewers' Manny Sablan went 1-for-2 with two runs and a base on ball.