On this day, four years ago, the Talaabwogh Falcons were just two innings away from falling down and losing their Junior League crown.
Then came an eight-run bottom of the fifth inning, bringing back the 2015 champions to business en route to a come-from-behind 10-7 win over the Kagman Enforcers in their finals showdown in the 2016 Saipan Little League Baseball at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
The Falcons managed to steal the victory and earn their second straight Junior League championship after overcoming a 2-6 deficit. Spencer Dickinson led the fightback, as he batted twice and also scored two runs in the pivotal bottom of the fifth inning. Angel Iguel, Aven Evangelista, Max Pangelinan, Mark Norita, Isaiah Teigita, and Tyrese Camacho delivered the six other runs for the Falcons, as they turned the tables on the Enforces after five complete, 10-6.
The Falcons went on to preserve the lead and foil the Enforcers’ upset bid, as Dickinson this time stepped up on defense, as he took over the mound from Camacho and yielded only four hits with no earned run.
The rest of the Falcons’ defense hung tight, too, as it finished off the Enforcers in style with a double play at the top of the seventh and last inning. Iguel caught a fly ball from J.P. Celis at left field and then threw the ball to Teigita, who tagged out Chris Achas for the final out. Dickinson earlier struck out Sean Rabauliman for the first out.
Dickinson, who now plays in a collegiate league in California, was later named Finals MVP, while Camacho took the regular season MVP award.
After their back-to-back titles in the Junior League, the Falcons, who won the 2015 crown against the IT&E Fielders, 3-2, extended their reign in the division in 2017. The Falcons were pitted against the Comets in the 2017 finals and cruised to an 8-2 triumph. The following season, the Falcons and the Comets had a rematch and the latter finally ended the former’s streak after an impressive 8-1 victory.
The 2018 season was the last time that the SLLB had a competition for Junior League, as only matches in the Minor and Major divisions were held last year after the Oleai Sports Complex, which houses the “Tan Ko” baseball field, sustained significant damage due to Super Typhoon Yutu. Then this year, SLLB officials totally shelved its season because of the coronavirus pandemic.