Last year’s runner-up McDonald’s finally got its act together after 0-3 start in the Major division of the 2014 Saipan Little League Baseball League, notching two straight victories last week at the Miguel “Tan Ge” Basa Pangelinan Ballfield.
McDonald’s, which played eventual champions Falcons in last year’s title match, barged into the win column last Thursday after outclassing the Red Sox in a make-up game, 9-5. A.J. Sanchez towed McDonald’s to its first win of the season after going 3-for-4 at bat and scoring five RBIs.
A five-run top of the third inning boosted McDonald’s chance to end a three-game losing skid, as it turned a tied match into a 6-1 lead. Last season’s finalist made it to the board first off Sanchez’s RBI double at the top of the first, while the Red Sox quickly responded with Alexiana Tyquengco stealing home.
The match remained in a deadlock as neither team scored in the second inning before Sanchez went to work anew for McDonald’s, this time hitting a two-run single to give his team cushion. McDonald’s three other runs were courtesy off Henry Fleming’s RBI singles and errors from Red Sox catcher Shane Mallens.
Three more runs in the fourth inning gave McDonald’s more distance, 9-1. Again, Sanchez led McDonald’s offense at the top of the fourth with a two-RBI single, while the other run came off Sun Joon Tenorio’s stolen base. The Red Sox had no answer, extending their drought for the third straight inning.
The Red Sox finally ended their silence in the fifth after recording two runs off a walk and sacrifice fly and drawing a two-run single from Kianna Aldan, but they failed to complete their comeback bid, as McDonald’s stood strong on defense in the sixth and last inning. Tenorio got the first out, tagging Kevin Foreman out, as the latter headed to second. The last two outs were made when Sanchez struck out third batter Eric Jang and second baseman Jared Reyes caught a fly ball from Mallens.
Riding on the momentum of its victory over the Red Sox, McDonald’s crushed the Ol’Aces in last Sunday’s second game, 19-5.
Jared Reyes’ inside-the-park homer in the fourth inning highlighted McDonald’s demolition of the Ol’Aces. Reyes nearly completed a rare cycle in the rout, as he also made a single and a double on a 3-for-4 performance at bat.
The McDonald’s pitcher flied out at third base in his first trip at the plate for the first out, but after that his team got three quick runs off two passed balls and an error at shorts strop. McDonald’s went on to bag three more runs off Tommy Santos’ two-RBI single and an RBI walk.
The Ol’Aces countered with only two runs at the bottom of the first off Trevon Lieto’s RBI single and stolen base and were then scoreless in the next two, while McDonald’s added seven more to pull away. Another six runs at the top of the fourth inning widened McDonald’s margin, putting into waste the three runs the Ol’Aces carded at the bottom.