The Enforcers eked out a 14-13 victory over the Ol’Aces in their Junior League division game in the 2017 Saipan Little League Baseball last Saturday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
The Enforcers worked their way back from a 3-7 deficit and then survived the Ol’Aces’ late rally to pull off the close win.
A six-run top of the fourth inning allowed the Enforcers to grab the lead from the Ol’Aces, 9-8. The Enforcers scored two runs off passed balls and one each off the Ol’Aces’ error and wild pitch. The two other runs were off a stolen base and an RBI from Jayart Palmes.
The Enforcers’ surge in the fourth inning came after the squad was held to one run apiece in the first three innings. Sean Rabauliman had an RBI single each in the first and third inning, while Minko Taimanao reached off an error in the second inning.
While the Enforcers struggled early, the Ol’Aces got off to a good start as Henry Fleming and Treven Lizama hit back-to-back RBIs at the bottom of the first inning. The Ol’Aces then collected five more runs in the second inning, capitalizing on their opponent’s errors to gain more cushion, 7-3, before the Enforcers made their move in the fourth inning to wrestle back the lead, 9-8.
The Ol’Aces countered with only one run at the bottom of the fourth inning and fell short in its bid to reclaim the upper hand and with the Enforcers getting three more runs in the fifth inning, it was the former’s turn to launch a comeback.
The Ol’Aces stared at a 10-14 deficit, going into the last inning threatened the Enforcers when Shane Mendiola and Ken Kaipat stole home with only one out, 12-14. The Ol’Aces were then called for the second out when Jonathan Santos, who relieved Justin Agulto, struck out Kianna Aldan. Santos continued to work the mound for the Enforcers and walked Fleming, who later stole second and eventually reached off a passed ball from Rabauliman, who closed out for the Enforcers.
Fleming’s run moved the Ol’Aces within one, but that also served as the team’s last run as Rabauliman redeemed himself in the next play by fanning out Treven Lizama.
Meanwhile, in the second game in the Junior League last Saturday, the Comets edged the Falcons, 4-1.
Pitchers Reid Teregeyo, Bing Nakamura, and Sab Saures combined for a three-hitter to lift the Comets to the victory in the low-scoring match.
Teregeyo also scored two of the Comets’ four runs with his first at the top of the opening inning courtesy of Saures’ RBI single and the second from Nakamura’s sacrifice out. Nakamura and Saures made the two other runs for the Comets with the latter’s single driving the former home. Saures, on the other hand, reached off A.J. Sanchez’s single.
The Falcons got their lone run from Jericho Jones, who advanced to first off the Comets’ error and then stole second and third before reaching home off a passed ball. The Falcons had a chance to score more in that inning with the bases loaded, however Teregeyo struck out Isaiah Teigita for the last out.
The Falcons never made it past the second base in the next four innings with Teregeyo still on the mound and was just replaced by Saures late in the sixth.
Saures started his shift by fanning out Martin Agulto to end the inning and the Comets moved one out away from wrapping up the match after booting out the Falcons’ first two batters off 5-3 and 1-3 putout plays. The Falcons, however, stayed alive as Nixon Smith managed to run safely to first and eventually reached thid, while Jacoby Chaufaros walked.
With runners on third and first, Nakamura relieved Saures and helped the Comets get the last out as he picked up a short shot from Zach Reyes and threw the ball to first baseman Justin Magofna.