Falcons win ‘Battle of the North’

A Talaabwogh Falcons batter waits for the pitch during their game against the NSA Braves in the Majors division of the 2019 Saipan Little League Baseball last Sunday at the Capital Hill Ballfield. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Talaabwogh Falcons downed the NSA Braves, 19-15, in a battle between the northern-based teams on island during the Majors division game in the 2019 Saipan Little League Baseball last Sunday at the Capital Hill Ballfield.

The Falcons finished strong, scoring 13 runs in the last two innings, including 10 unearned to edge the Braves and get their second straight win after losing their season debut to the defending champions Kagman Little Legals.

Catcher Achilles Evangelista scored three out of the Falcons’ 13 runs in the fourth and fifth inning, was 2-for-3 at bat, and had two RBIs in that stretch. He batted twice and reached two times, too at the bottom of the fourth inning, which started with the Falcons behind, 6-13, after the Braves broke the deadlock (6-6) with a seven-run top of the fourth.

Nick Taisacan had a two-run double at the top of the fourth inning for the Braves and their team got one more earned run, and two each off a passed and the Falcons’ error to take the lead. However, the Falcons countered at the bottom of the fourth with all but two of the batters at the top of the order making it home and Achilles getting his second run in the same inning after Damien Dela Cruz reached off a Braves’ miscue to retake the lead, 15-13. The Falcons then had a chance to increase their lead when they loaded the bases, but Rollan Seidler struck out Marvin Cabrera to stop the bleeding for the Braves.

The Braves were back at bat at the top of the fifth, but managed to score only one run and had two runners stranded when Andre Iguel got the third strikeout, allowing the Falcons to hang on to a 15-14 lead. The Falcons went on to make it a 19-14 cushion when they recorded three earned runs and one unearned at the bottom of the fifth, putting more pressure to the Braves going into the top of the sixth.

To continue the game and remain in contention, the Braves must score at least five runs at the top of the last inning. They were four runs short, as only Willy Joe Lieto reach off a fielder’s choice, while Iguel struck out Seidler and Fabio Norita to end the match.

Evangelista and Noah Iguel delivered three RBIs each for the Falcons with the former collecting four runs and the latter adding two. Xavier Magofna and Cruz had no RBIs, but each scored four runs.

Little Legals 14, JZ Twins 3
The Little Legals kept their unbeaten record in three games after defeating the JZ Twins.

Shortstop Albert Adriano went 3-for-4 at bat and recorded two runs, including a solo shot at the bottom of the third inning where the Little Legals began to control the match.

The game was tied after two and a half innings, 2-2, when Adriano’s round-tripper broke the standoff and the Little Legals never looked back after that, as the defending champion bagged two more runs at the bottom of the third and added six in the fifth for the breakaway. Then in the sixth inning, Santiago Seman blasted a two-run single and also reached for their 14-2 advantage.

The JZ Twins registered their two runs (unearned) in the first and second inning and had to make at least three at the bottom of the fifth to foil the Little Legals’ bid for an early win via 10-run mercy rule. Leadoff batter Kobe Reyes scored off Devin Yumul’s base hit, giving the JZ Twins some hope, but that was it, as closer Greg Perez fanned the next two batters and after giving up a single to Devin Yumul, the former also struck out Frankie Sablan.

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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