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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Enforcers, Padres ease their way to victory

The JPO Enforcers first baseman beats a Falcons runner during their game in the Junior League early this month at the Francisco “Tan Ko Palacios Ballfield. The Enforcers won, 9-0, and are still undefeated in the division, following an 11-0 rout of the Jets last Sunday.  (PHOTOS BY ROSELYN B. MONROYO) The Enforcers and Padres dominated separate foes in their respective divisions in the 2014 Saipan Little League Baseball last week at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.

The Enforcers shut down the Jets, 11-0, in the Junior League game last Sunday to keep their perfect record (7-0) and widen their lead in the six-team field. The Jets dropped to a 3-4 record for third place, pending results of the two other Junior League matches last weekend. The Comets (3-3) and Falcons (2-4) played in the second game, while the defending champions Red Sox (1-5) and Fielders (2-4) collided in the third and final match.

Starting pitcher Kier Agda allowed only two hits before reaching his limit and with the rest of the Enforcers’ defense in place, the Jets made it to third only once. Agda pitched 6.3 innings and had nine strikeouts. He gave up a single to Noel Cabrera in the second inning, allowing second batter Austin Benavente to move to second and third, but the Enforcers ace eventually tagged out the latter at home.

Agda continued his pitching chores in the next five innings and stranded seven more runners, as no Jets runner made it past second base in that stretch. The Enforcers starting pitcher also managed to record at least one strikeout in each of the last five innings he pitched. He got his last strikeout at the bottom of the seventh, leaving Cabrera stuck on second and Leo Salalila on first. Ethan Babauta came in for Agda and had a brief stint on the mound, as the Jets were called for their third out in the ensuing play.

On offense, Agda went 2-for-4 at bat and scored one run, one RBI, and a sacrifice fly. He gave the Enforcers their second run in the first inning when his single drove Virgil Secharmidal home, while the first run was courtesy of the latter’s RBI single.

The Enforcers failed to make it to the board in the next two innings, but close out strong, drilling at least two runs each in the last four. Jordan Kosam and Ton Muna had RBI singles and the seven other runs came off the Jets throwing, fielding, and pitching errors.

Meanwhile, in the Big League game last week, the Padres coasted past the Lions, 14-1.
The Padres bagged the win, their second in three games, after only four and a half innings. The Lions are still winless after three games.

Padres shorts stop A. J. Lizama went 3-for-4 at bat and contributed two runs and three RBIs, while the defending champions notched three more earned runs. The Lions scored their lone run at the top of the fifth with leadoff batter Cedric Ada reaching home off an Ian Iriarte sacrifice out.

The Padres set up the route after gaining momentum in the second inning. The defending champions tallied six runs at the bottom of the second to stretch a slim 1-0 lead to a promising 7-0 advantage. Lizama, T.J. Sablan, and Daniel Smith hit one RBI single each in that inning, while the three other runs were courtesy off the Lions’ miscues. The Padres turned the Lions’ lapses into four more runs in the third inning and also got two unearned runs in the fourth.

Winning pitcher Steven Cabrera had a no-relief job for the Padres, striking out five and giving up only four hits.

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