Defending champions Brewers are still unscathed in the 2014 Saipan Baseball League, following a 9-7 victory over the Yankees last Monday night at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
The Brewers worked on offense early, scoring in the first two innings and then gained insurance runs in the penultimate inning to beat the Yankees. The defending champions improved to a 3-0 lead to keep their hold on the top spot in the six-team field, while the Yankees dropped to a 1-1 record.
Leadoff batter Tyrone Omar scored the first run for the Brewers off an error from Yankees pitcher Dung Tenorio, while Nokki Saralu gave the Tony Rogolifoi-managed squad their second run off a sacrifice fly. The Brewers then added four more runs in the second off Saralu, Mike Pangelinan, and Manny Sablan’s RBI singles, and Byron Kaipat’s RBI double for a 6-0 advantage, which they kept after three innings behind the steady performance at the plate of Lenny Sablan.
Sablan then returned to the dugout after giving up three hits and one run to the Yankees in the fourth. The Yankees went on to nail three more runs in the next two innings to remain afloat, 4-6. Brian Camacho had an RBI single in the fifth, while the two other Yankees runs were courtesy off a passed ball and an error from Brewers’ shorts stop Ton Leon Guerrero.
The Brewers kept the shaky two-run lead after neither team scored in the seventh inning before the defending champions gained more cushion in the eighth, notching three runs. Diego Camacho had an RBI single at the top of the eighth and he scored too, off a fumble from Yankees’ shorts- top A.J. Lizama, who committed another booboo that drove home Leon Guerrero.
Down 5-9, the Yankees refused to give up and moved within two anew when Ben Jones made an RBI single and also reached home off Leon Guerrero’s error. The Yankees then boosted their chances for a come-from-behind win when they knocked off the Brewers’ first three batters at the top of the last inning.
However, the Brewers countered with a strong defense, too, at the bottom of the ninth to foil the Yankees’ bid. Rightfielder Harry Nakamura caught a fly ball from Lizama, who led off for the Yankees, while centerfielder Marvin Kaipat also nabbed a fly from Gary Cruz, leaving Brian Camacho at first base. Camacho advanced off an error from leftfield and was stuck there, as the Brewers got the last out with first baseman Bryon Kaipat picking up a grounder from Pat Alepuyo.
Fielders 11, D-9ers 9
In last Wednesday’s game, the Fielders bounced back from a 2-22 lost to the Brewers in the opener with a win over the D-9ers (0-2).
The Fielders performed better at the plate in the last four innings and halted the D-9ers’ rally at the bottom of the ninth inning to eke out the victory.
Ahead by only 2, 3-1, after five complete innings, the Fielders scored four runs in the sixth and also lit up the scoreboard in two of the last three innings to hand the D-9ers back-to-back losses. Jared Sablan hit a two-run single at the top of the sixth and scored, too off a D-9ers error, while the other run was made off a passed ball, giving last year’s finalists a 7-2 lead. The Fielders was then without a run in the seventh before notching for more in the last two to stretch their advantage to 9, 11-2.
The D-9ers got only one run at the bottom of the sixth, but threatened the Fielders after mounting a last-inning rally. The D-9ers first four batters scored off the Fielders’ two errors at rightfield, an RBI double from Ricky Joe Renguul, and a sacrifice out with two outs. The D-9ers then got another run from the Fielders’ error at first base with to move within one before the latter finally got the third out with third pitcher Aaron Benavente striking out Tim Deleon Guerrero.