CNMI recovers; Chinese-Taipei leads


A Chinese-Taipei pitcher hurls during the top of the second inning of their game against the CNMI Junior League All-Stars in the 2017 Asia Pacific-Middle East Regional Tournament last Saturday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The CNMI Senior All-Stars avenged their opening day loss to Guam, while Chinese-Taipei swept the first round of the elimination in the Junior League division as action in the 2017 Asia Pacific-Middle East Regional Tournament resumed yesterday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.

After a two-day break, the CNMI Senior All-Stars returned to the field and was on target for an 11-3 victory over Guam, which downed the hosts, 5-3, last Friday during the tournament opener.

Shakobe Rangamar pitched for the Commonwealth and allowed only six hits and two earned runs. He also went 3-for-4 at bat and scored three RBIs and one run. Dennis Cabrera was also 3-for-4 at the plate and made two runs and one RBI, while Ace Evangelista was only 1-for-4, but recorded three runs. Tindin Deleon Guerrero, Kimo Angailen, Dominic Yumul, and Jode Reyes added one run apiece to lift the CNMI to a 1-1 record. The hosts were hoping to make in two in a row and boost their finals bid last night as they were scheduled to face winless Philippines (0-1) in a make-up game. The CNMI-Philippines tiff was originally scheduled last Sunday, but was suspended due to rain.

Guam still leads the Senior League standings despite the loss, as it holds a 2-1 record.

Guam notched its second straight victory after edging the Philippines last Saturday, 5-4.

Aaron Jawanda scored the go-ahead run for Guam at the bottom of the fifth inning, as he reached home off a passed ball. Guam’s four other runs were all registered in the third inning with Joe Young II hitting an RBI triple, Jake Carbulido making a sacrifice fly, and Calvin Aguon and Joshua Calvo scoring off the Philippines’ errors.

As for the Philippines side, Naoki Akita put his team on the board with his RBI triple at the top of the fifth, while their three other runs were posted in the third inning. The Philippines then had a chance to tie or take the lead in the sixth inning when it loaded the bases with two outs, but Lorenzo Montemayor flied out at centerfield, allowing Guam to keep the shaky lead. Guam went on to retain the one-run advantage and take the win when it ended the game with a double play and stranded Akita at second.

Meanwhile, as expected, powerhouse Chinese-Taipei is still undefeated after the first of the double-round robin eliminations.

Chinese-Taipei completed the first round sweep after a 13-0 victory against the CNMI Junior All-Stars yesterday. The four-time defending World Series champions have yet to give up a run in the tournament as they also shut down the CNMI last Saturday, 18-0, for a fitting follow up on their 19-0 demolition of the Philippines.

In its second meeting with the hosts, Chinese-Taipei allowed only two hits and forced the CNMI to 1-2-3 in four of the five innings the latter went at bat. No CNMI runner made it past first base and with the way Chinese-Taipei is dominating the elimination, only the second finals slot is left to be contested. The Top 2 teams after the elimination will face each other in the finals and fight for the World Series ticket.

With the loss, the Commonwealth dropped to third place with its 1-2 record (pending results of last night’s make-up match). Hong Kong has a 1-1 card, while the Philippines also holds a 1-2 mark as the two teams split their games.

Hong Kong drew first blood last Saturday, 11-6, but the Philippines bounced back with a 13-3 triumph in their second meeting yesterday.

Hong Kong got off to a good start, scoring nine runs in the first three innings to gain enough cushion against the Philippines, which had four runs in the second inning and was held to one in the last five. Then yesterday, it was the Philippines’ turn to catch Hong Kong’s defense off guard right at the get-go as the former collected six runs at the bottom of the first and kept its distance for the early victory via the 10-run mercy rule.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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