Gore Iskawa scored the winning run and the Falcons used a five-run seventh inning to edge the IP&E Fielders, 8-7, in an 11-inning thriller last Wednesday night in the 2015 Saipan Baseball League at the Francisco M. “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
Iskawa, who singled, reached home after the relay throw made by Fielders third baseman Jose Lizama bounced past second baseman Cedric Ada and the ball just rolled to right field. Lizama tried to tag out Iskawa as the latter was running behind teammate Peter Lieto, who on the other hand was charging toward home plate after the former made the error. Lieto was later called out after he removed his helmet while trying to run the bases.
Players are not allowed to remove their helmets once they are running the bases to avoid any injury.
Lieto, who walked, would have scored the game-winning run if not for violating that technical rule. Fortunately, Iskawa was behind Lieto.
It was the second straight win in as many games for the Doru Camacho-managed Falcons, while the Fielders dropped to 1-2.
The Fielders were enjoying a 5-2 lead after 6 1/2 complete innings, getting plenty of help from hurler Jimmy Brel, who held the Falcons to three scoreless innings from fourth to the sixth.
Henry Iguel had an infield single to lead things off for the Falcons at the bottom of the seventh. He moved to second after Lucio Kalen walked and later stole third base to move within 90-feet away from home plate.
Iguel made it 5-3 on an A.J. Lizama single and Kalen also scored on a Lieto RBI single.
An Iskawa two-RBI single had the Fielders grabbing the lead, 6-5, with still no outs. He also scored the last run at the bottom of the seventh, as Kevin Villagomez, who relieved Brel, settled down on the mound.
Villagomez walked Angel Falig, but the latter was tagged out on a 5-3 play. He next forced Ned Norita to a line drive to Fielders third baseman Lizama for the second out. Villagomez walked Nunu Kapileo, but the latter got stranded after Frankie Lieto flied out to Tom Guerrero at right field.
The Fielders tied the match, 7-7, at the top of the ninth with Guerrero, off a Lizama RBI single, and Verlance Techur reaching home on a wild pitch to set up the thrilling finish.
Lieto went 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI, while Iskawa (2-for-6) made two runs and had three RBIs. Myron San Nicolas had a pair of singles early in the game before being replaced by Mike Iguel in the sixth.
Ton Tenorio went 1-for-3 with three runs for the Fielders, while Jose Lizama had an RBI on a 2-for-4 batting. Ada went 2-for-5 with an RBI single.
Dave Jones pitched six complete innings, limiting the Fielders to three runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Iskawa pitched one inning in relief before being replaced by A.J. Lizama at the top of the eighth. Lizama held his own against the Fielders, holding them to two runs on two hits, while fanning two with no walks.