Two down, two more two go for the CNMI Majors All-Star Team.
The Commonwealth bets boosted their playoff chances in the 2019 Asia Pacific-Middle East Regional Tournament after sweeping their first two matches in pool play over the weekend at the Hwaseong Dream Park in Seoul, South Korea.
The CNMI had a rousing debut in the World Series qualifier after pouncing on Vietnam last Saturday, 18-2. Then yesterday, the Gregorio T. Camacho-managed squad returned to the field and eked out a thrilling 4-3 victory over Hong Kong to remain undefeated in Pool B and lead the group ahead of the favored Chinese-Taipei (1-0).
Hong Kong fell to a 1-1 record, while Vietnam had a 0-1 mark. New Zealand completes the pool and is at the bottom of the standings with a 0-2 record. Only the Top 2 teams after the round-robin elimination will advance to the playoffs and battle the qualifiers in Pool A, which has defending champion Korea, China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Guam.
The CNMI’s victory over Hong Kong was a come-from-behind feat, as the latter clung to a 3-2 lead after the top of the sixth and last inning.
At the bottom of the sixth, Casey Chambers led off for the CNMI and walked. Ezra Ada was next at bat and his bunt moved Greg Tebit, who pinched run for Chambers, to second. With runners on first and second, Isaiah Mesa stepped up to the plate and connected on his target, bringing Tebit home and tying the intense match at 3-all. Noah Iguel also made a hit, but the CNMI failed to capitalize, as Ada was tagged out at home.
Albert Adriano joined Ada in the dugout, as the former flied out, leaving Hong Kong one out away from bringing the game into extra inning. However, Dylan Santos made sure the match will end right away in the sixth, as his hit brought Mesa home and gave the CNMI a 2-0 record in the tournament.
Hong Kong threatened to deny the Commonwealth an undefeated record in Pool B after scoring three runs at the top of the sixth inning. Earlier at the bottom of the fourth, the CNMI finally ended its silence and took the lead after making two runs.
Meanwhile, in their lopsided win over Vietnam last Saturday, the CNMI set up the rout after drilling nine runs at the bottom of the second inning. Before pulling away, Camacho’s wards were up by only 3 after one complete inning, 5-2.
Vietnam, however, were shutdown in the next two innings, while the CNMI remained on target to get the early win via 10-run mercy rule. The CNMI scored four homers in the easy triumph over Vietnam.
After their back-to-back victories, the Commonwealth bets hope to extend their streak and zero in on a semis berth today when they take on winless New Zealand. After the match against the Kiwis, the CNMI will take a rest tomorrow before closing out pool play on Wednesday against Chinese-Taipei—another favored team in the tournament.
Chinese-Taipei crushed New Zealand yesterday, 16-0. In other results on Day 2 of the competition, South Korea dominated Guam, 11-0; China topped Indonesia, 5-0; and the Philippines edged Thailand; 11-8. Last Saturday, the Philippines nosed out Guam, 4-3; South Korea whipped China, 17-0; Hong Kong won over New Zealand, 6-1; and Indonesia nipped Thailand, 3-2.
In the 50/70, the CNMI bowed to the Philippines, 1-5.
IT&E steps up to the plate
IT&E is proud to support the CNMI Majors All-Star Team.
IT&E purchased uniforms for the squad, valued at $2,000.
“Sporting events like this are an amazing opportunity for our youth to see the world, learn about other cultures, make new friends, and pursue their passions. We’re happy to help make that happen for our Little League athletes and we wish them good luck,” IT&E CNMI general manager Rose Soledad said.
“Support from the community really bolsters the confidence of our athletes. We thank our friends at IT&E for their generosity. We’re excited to represent the Northern Mariana Islands in these brand new uniforms and are ready to give it our all,” said Joey Dela Cruz, whose son, Joey Vincent, is a member of the team.
For over 35 years, IT&E has been delivering connections that matter. IT&E serves more than 90,000 subscribers on the widest 4G LTE Data Network in Guam and the Marianas.