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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Enforcers take Junior League lead

The JPO Enforcers’ Virgil Secharmidal delivers a pitch to the Falcons during the top of the first inning of their Junior League game last Sunday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield. ( ROSELYN B. MONROYO) Virgil Secharmidal flirted with a no-hitter to power the JPO Enforcers to a 9-0 spanking of the Talaabwogh Falcons in the Junior League game in the 2014 Saipan Little League Baseball last Sunday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.

The victory was the third in as many games for the Enforcers, who are now at solo top spot in the six-team competition, while the Falcons fell to a 1-2 slate and joined the Fielders at the bottom of the standings. The Jets and the Comets complete the field and share second place after holding similar 2-1 cards.

The Enforcers are alone at the No. 1 position, as Secharmidal showed an impressive performance on the mound. He pitched five innings and allowed only one hit, while striking out five and giving up no runs. Kier Ada relieved Secharmidal at the top of the sixth and the former picked up where the latter left off, shutting out the Falcons and allowing only one hit. The rest of the Enforcers defense held on to prevent the Falcons from scoring.

The Falcons was in a scoring position right in the first inning, but leadoff batter Kody Omengkar was stranded at third, as Secharmidal got the first two outs on a 1-3 putout play and a strikeout, while rightfielder Jordan Kosam caught a fly ball from Benen Iguel. Secharmidal, who also gave the Enforcers their first run off a stolen base at the top of the first, earned two more strikeouts in the second inning and another 1-3 putout play to help his team take a 4-0 lead. The Enforcers got the three runs in the second inning off a passed ball, a pitcher’s error, and fielder’s choice.

The Enforcers widened the gap, as they collected five more runs in the last four innings, while Secharmidal and his teammates continued to frustrate the Falcons. The Falcons scored three runs in the fourth with Secharmidal and Agda’s singles bringing Nathan Nogis and Shakobe Rangamar home, respectively, and Elthan Babauta’s triple driving Agda. The two other runs came off passed balls and error at third base and were made at the top of the bottom of the fifth inning.

Earlier at the bottom fifth, the Falcons had an opportunity to break the spell when second batter Kobe Lifoifoi singled, stole second, and reached third off a passed ball with only one out.

However, he was stranded along with one other runner, as Secharmidal and Babauta teamed up anew in a 1-3 putout play, while leftfielder Quinton Deleon Guerrero caught a fly ball.

After doing a lot of damage to the Falcons’ struggling offense, Secharmidal got a well-deserved rest in favor of Agda, who gave up a quick hit (double) to Don Fejeran at the top of the sixth.

However, Fejeran was later beaten to second and the Falcons were called for two quick outs, with Iguel fying out at second and Oscar Lizama caught in a 6-3 putout play, to remain scoreless, with only one inning to go.

The Falcons went on to miss its last chance of breaking it to the scoreboard at the top of the seventh, as Keikuni Kainoa was left at third base with Agda getting the second out on a 1-3 putout play and striking Jeremy Ngiraked out. Agda was also responsible for the first out when he threw to second base and Falcons leadoff batter Evangelista was tagged out.

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