The North Starz barged into the win column in style after pounding the D-9ers, 31-2, last Friday night in the 2014 Saipan Baseball League at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
The 29-run margin was one of the biggest recorded in the league in years and the most lopsided so far this season. The victory also allowed the North Starz to become the second team this season to win by at least 20 runs after the defending champions Brewers, who whipped the Fielders in the opener, 22-2. The win more than made up for the North Starz’s 1-2 loss to the Yankees last week.
Catcher Cedric Ada led the North Starz demolition of the D-9ers, as he went 5-for-6 at the plate, scored three runs, and nailed seven RBIs. Ada had three doubles, recording his first one in the fourth inning to drive two runners home. He then blasted the last two doubles at the top of the seventh inning with the second one bringing three runners home. The North Starz earned their most runs (11) in sixth inning.
First baseman John Acosta also contributed in the sixth inning after drilling a two-run single, while centerfielder Juan Iguel hit 4-for-6 and added three RBIs and four runs. Iguel had an RBI triple in the sixth and RBI singles in the first and fifth. The rest of the North Starz’s runs were made of passed balls, wild pitches, fielding errors, and two sacrifice flies.
The D-9ers utilized five pitchers to stop the damage the North Starz created on the former’s defense, but to no avail, as the latter got into the board early. The North Starz logged two earned runs at the top of the first, three each off wild pitches and passed balls, and one off an error at second base for a 9-0 lead. The North Starz then went cold in the second inning, but the D-9ers failed to capitalize, as they continued to search for the elusive run at the bottom. Two more runs off wild pitches and one off a sacrifice fly stretched the North Starz lead to 12 before the D-9ers finally made it to the scoreboard with Ian Lizama reaching home off a Kyle Kaipat sacrifice fly and Dylan Pua getting the second run off a fielder’s choice.
That bottom of third inning was the only time the D-9ers scored, while the North Starz counted with a six-run top of fourth behind Ada’s two-run double and the two-run single from designated hitter Robert Bansil. The two other runs were courtesy of a wild pitch and Juan Iguel’s RBI single.
Ricardo Dela Cruz, who came in for Vince Castro, added one run in the fifth off Juan Iguel’s sacrifice fly and the North Starz went for the kill in the last inning with their 11 runs. The six batters on the North Stars top of order in the sixth inning stepped into the plate twice with Acosta and Ada scoring two runs apiece.
At the bottom of the sixth, the D-9ers had two chances to gain more runs, but Tim Guerrero was beaten home with Ada catching a throw from shortstop Lamarc Iguel and tagging the D-9ers runner out. With two outs (the first batter flied out at leftfield), the D-9ers made it to scoring position anew with Wally Emul advancing to first off a Lamarc Iguel error and to second and third off passed balls, but was stranded with relief pitcher Anthony Castro and Acosta teaming up in a 1-3 putout play.
Meanwhile, last Wednesday’s game between the Fielders (0-1) and the Yankees (1-0) was rained-out and the former will play its second game of the season tonight against the D-9ers (0-2).