The Tanapag Braves forced a three-way logjam for the lead in the Senior League division of the 2014 Saipan Little League Baseball after edging the JPO Enforcers, 4-3, last Saturday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
The Braves scored in the second and third inning and then shut out the Enforcers (0-2) in the last five innings to improve to a 2-0 record and tie the Jets and the Red Sox for the top spot.
M.J. Sakisat pitched in six innings for the Braves and after giving up two earned runs early, he played steady on the mound in the next four innings, allowing only two hits, stranding four runners, and striking two.
The Enforcers got the two earned runs at the top of the second off a sacrifice fly and a base hit and the team scored in the first inning off a Braves error. The Braves then lit up the board at the bottom second with J.J. Lifoifoi making it home off an error from catcher Verlance Secharmidal and went on to grab the lead, 4-3, as Ian Norita hit an RBI single and James Kintol had an RBI double. The third run was courtesy off another Enforcers’ booboo.
The Braves hung on to the shaky lead in the remaining inning with Sakisat holding his ground against the Enforcers’ batters and the former’s outfielders catching five fly balls. With the Braves defense in place in the last five innings, the best that the Enforcers could do was made it to second base.
Jets 9, Fielders 3
The Jets also leaned on their solid defense in the first three innings to stun the defending champions Fielders (0-2).
The Jets shut out the Fielders in the first three innings for a 2-0 advantage. Nate Camacho started out for the Jets and nearly threw a no-hitter, blanking the Fielders in the first three innings before giving up a single and a run in the fourth inning.
The Fielders’ one run, however, was not enough to throw the Jets out of their rhythm, as the latter earlier got four runs at the top of the fourth to widen their lead, 6-1. Camacho and T.J. Dela Cruz had RBI singles in that inning, while the Jets got the two other runs off the Fielders’ errors. Two more earned runs in the fifth nullified the Fielder’s two runs at the bottom and the Jets held strong in the last two innings to hand their foe back-to-back losses.
The Fielders were done after only three batters in the sixth inning, as the Jets caught two fly balls and the third runner was beaten at first base. Franco Nakamura then closed out the game for the Jets in style, striking out the Fielders’ first three batters.
Red Sox 11, Lions 5
In the other Senior League game last Saturday, the Red Sox outclassed the Lions to grab a share of the lead in the six-team field.
The Red Sox’s bats went to work in the first three innings to gain leverage against the Lions. Shortstop Jhace Palacios connected on a two-RBI double in the first inning and the Red Sox notched two more runs off a wild pitch and error at centerfield for a 4-1 lead, which they stretched to 7-2, after three complete innings. The Lions bagged one run in the first inning off a Red Sox’s miscue and one more in the third off a sacrifice fly.
The Lions then won the exchange in the next three innings, 3-1, to stay in the game, 6-8, with only one inning left. However, the Red Sox’s finished strong with three runs at the top of the seventh to gain more cushion, as Bradley Lieto made an RBI single and the two other runs were posted off the Lions’ errors.
Jerald Cabrera, who pitched in no relief for the Red Sox, earned the win, as he struck out two Lions batters in the last inning. The Red Sox got the other out after catching a fly ball at leftfield.