The Comets eased their way to the semifinals of the Majors division of the 2016 Saipan Little League Baseball after dominating McDonald’s 13-3, in the first playoff game last Sunday at the Miguel “Tan Ge” Basa Pangelinan Ballfield.
The victory was the Comets’ 13th in as many games as they earlier swept the regular season and the win moved them to the Final Four meeting with the Ol’Aces. The Ol’Aces played in the final quarterfinal match last weekend and edged the Twins, 5-3, to earn the right to challenge the highly-favored and unbeaten Comets.
Pitcher J.P. Castro flirted with a no-no, throwing a one-hitter in the win which the Comets recorded after only four innings via 10-run mercy rule.
Castro started his shift by striking out McDonald’s first three batters at the top of the first inning, while in the second inning he fanned out two more batters. The Comets pitcher was also instrumental in the first out in the second inning, picking up a grounder and throwing to first to beat leadoff batter Joel Deleon Guerrero.
With Castro shutting down McDonalds in the first two innings, the Comets built a 10-0 lead. Reid Teregeyo, Bing Nakamura, Sab Saures, and Justin Magofna scored for the Comets at the bottom of the first and the latter added a two-run double in the second. Nakamura and Ross Arriola each added an RBI single and the former also scored off a passed ball. The Comets got two more runs off McDonald’s passed balls in the second inning for the double-digit spread.
McDonald’s then brought the lead down to 7, 3-10, after three complete innings as it was its turn to reach home plate twice off the Comets’ passed balls. The other run came off a fielder’s choice. However, the three-run top of the third was not enough to spark a big comeback, while the Comets countered with three runs at the bottom of the fourth to end the match quickly.
Nakamura was 3-for-3 in the Comets’ victory, making three doubles, three runs, and three RBIs. Saures went 2-for-2 and tallied three runs.