The BSI Aces bagged the pennant in the 2016 Masters Baseball League after outclassing the Old Stars, 20-10, in the final regular season game last Tuesday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Baseball Field.
The BSI Aces finished the double-round robin elimination of the six-team competition with a 7-3 record, while the Old Stars ended up with a 6-4 mark. The two teams are also in the playoffs, along with the GSM Masters (6-4) and Sai Sei (5-5).
The newly crowned pennant champions had their bats working early to take control of the important game. The BSI Aces scored 6 runs right at the top of the first inning and after slowing down in the second, they came back strong in the third, adding 7 more runs.
The Old Stars, on the other hand, struggled in the first two, making only one run apiece before getting their rhythm in the third by logging five runs to stay afloat. Both teams were then held to one run in the next two innings before the BSI Aces earned the win an inning earlier after a five-run top of the sixth.
Reno Celis went 3-for-5 in the BSI Aces’ pennant-clinching victory and added three RBIs and four runs. Ben Mesa was only 2-for-5, but he also recorded three RBIs with his two-run triple in the sixth inning helping the BSI Aces set up the win via 10-run mercy rule.
Pepi Tenorio made two RBIs, too in the sixth inning, as he came in for Ralph Torres and blasted a double that brought Jess Cabrera and Dennis Ngeskebei home. Mesa scored the fifth run for the BSI Aces at the top of the sixth off an Old Stars’ error.
At the bottom of the sixth, the Old Stars also capitalized on the BSI Aces’ defensive miscues to get two more runs and stay in the game. However, after their second run the Old Stars were called for out No. 2 when pinch runner Ton Camacho was beaten to second base. With two outs and Manny Cabrera at first base, George David was charged with two strikes against two balls and eventually returned to the dugout when closer Mel Sakisat got the third strike and the win for the BSI Aces.
Meanwhile, Sai Sei defeated Papa Bears in a make-up game last Monday, 20-15, to clinch the last semis berth in the masters league.
Sai Sei scored seven runs in the pivotal seventh inning, five of them came off Papa Bears’ errors, to gain enough cushion, going into the bottom of the last inning and catch the last bus to the playoff round.
In the semifinals, Sai Sei will face the top-ranked BSI Aces tonight, while the Old Stars and GSM Masters will square off in the other Final Four pairing on Tuesday. The winners of the two semis matches will duel in the one-game finals, which is likely to be played next week, too according to league coordinator Tony Rogolifoi.