It’s still early in the season, and the top teams are having a tough time shaking their rivals, but the Pirates and the Northern Angels have managed to stay a step ahead of the competition through four games of Big League baseball at the Oleai Sports Complex.
Though the squads share 3-1 records, the Pirates look to have a solid shot at winning the pennant with two of the top hitters and one of the best pitchers in the game. Tom Deleon Guerrero leads his team with an impressive .533 batting average and teammate Pat Alepuyo is close behind at an even .500, but the Pirates’ slugger shares the leads the league with a pair of triples.
Add to that strikeout king James Kintol atop the hill and it’s easy to see why the Pirates feel like they have a firm grip on first place. If they get too lax, the Angels will be there to cut them down to size with a well balanced attack on the mound and at the plate.
John Benavente (.467), Jesus Agulto (.385), and Jeff Saures (.333) rank among the league’s best hitter, and with eight runs scored, Agulto has crossed the plate more than all but one player in the Big’s.
Agulto is also the league’s second-best pitcher in the earned run department with a 3.86 average, and trails only Kintol with 16 strikeouts through 19 and a third innings on the hill.
Only a game back of first place are the Ol’Aces and the Fielders—both of whom can turn it up a notch to make a serious run for the pennant. The Ol’Aces have the consistent hitting of Franco Flores (.571) and Ben Taisacan (.500) leading the way at the plate, and the duo has also set the pace for their colleagues in the Saipan Little League Baseball Association with a homerun apiece.
Taisacan has driven in the most runs with eight ribbies and Flores is tied for second with seven, but they will need some help from the mound if they plan to take their team to the next level.
That’s not a problem for the Fielders as they have the top hitter and pitcher in the game.
Cadez Tenorio is wailing away with a .688 batting average and three doubles, while Brandon Santos is smoking the competition from the hill with a slim 1.81 earned run average and 13 strikeouts.
The one-two punch is proving to be a formidable weapon for the Fielders, but they also have Oliver Secharmidal (.533), Peter Tenorio (.467), and Esteven Cruz (.333) hammering out hits to solidify their lineup.
Unfortunately for the Braves, they sport the sole goose egg in the win column at 0-4, but they can take pride in slugger Sato Manalo’s .538 batting average that ranks him as the third best, while John Palacios (.500) is close by in the sixth spot.