Bears nip Falcons on walk-off error


The Chalan Kanoa Bears’ Fred Songao, right, and Falcons first baseman Mario Aguon watch the direction of the ball before making their move at the bottom of the ninth inning of their nerve-wracking game in the 2018 Saipan Baseball League last Tuesday night at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield. (Jon Perez)

Henry Lizama scored the winning run on a walk-off error, as the Chalan Kanoa Bears rallied past the Falcons, 5-4, in their 2018 Saipan Baseball League game last Tuesday night at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.

The Bears tied idle GSM atop the standings with the win, as the two teams now hold identical 8-1 records, entering the second round. The Falcons, after the nerve-wracking and more than three-hour match, dropped to 6-3 to join the Mariners in second place. The season has been extended to a second round after coaches got additional funds to prolong the competition.

The Bears, whose game against the Falcons last April 18 was canceled due to rain, were down entering the bottom of the ninth, 2-4. Things looked a little bleak for the CK-based squad, especially with Falcons ace pitcher Frankie Lieto on the mound.

Lieto, with one out and runners at the corner, was going for a complete game, but Falcons manager Doru Camacho gambled on replacing him with his brother, Peter.

Fred Songao had a leadoff walk against Frankie Lieto, but the former later went out on a Ben Flores fielder’s choice. Flores moved to third on a Shakobe Rangamar single and then the former stole home to move the Bears within one, 3-4.

That was when Camacho decided to bring in Peter to relieve Frankie. Peter came in when Henry Lizama was up to bat. Rangamar, who stole second, scored on Henry Lizama’s infield hit to tie the game.

Henry Lizama was then safe at second on Mario Aguon’s throwing error, while Kiku Lizama walked and Virgil Secharmidal loaded the bases after another Falcons error, this time by Peter.

A.J. Lizama, who had already blasted two home runs this season, had a soft chopper with the ball dropping near the pitcher’s mound. Peter, with Lizama running toward first base, managed to pick up the ball but made another throwing error that allowed Henry Lizama to score the game-winning run.

Frankie, before Peter replaced him, had 11 strikeouts and walked four. He surrendered an earned run on five hits.

The Bears-Falcons tiff turned into a pitching duel with Frankie and Jose Lizama keeping each team’s batters in check. The Bears’ Rick Dela Cruz and the Falcons’ J.J. Lifoifoi were the only two players who managed to have two hits the entire game.

Jose Lizama tossed a complete game for the Bears—six innings in shutout—with three of the Falcons’ four runs earned charged to him. He gave up six hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.

Indians 17, Outlaws 6
Jared Camacho pitched 3.2 no-hit innings in relief, while Richard Atalig, Jose Camacho, and Robert Tudela drove in two runs each to help the Indians end eight games of futility with a one-sided win over the Outlaws last Monday night.

Jared Camacho was tagged with one earned run—Chris Myers, who walked, scored on a T.J. Dela Cruz fielder’s choice. Camacho also fanned four and walked five.

Atalig went 3-for-4 with two runs, while Tudela scored a run on a 3-for-5 performance at the plate, and Jose Camacho hit 1-for-4 with two runs and a two-RBI single in the sixth inning. Perry Celis went 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs.

Verlance Secharmidal finished 3-for-4, with three runs for the Outlaws, which dropped its ninth straight match to end the first round.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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