Fourth-inning surge lifts Braves past McDonald’s


A Braves runner slides home during their game against McDonald’s in the first round of the Major division of the 2017 Saipan Little League Baseball at the Miguel “Tan Ge” Basa Pangelinan Ballfield. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Braves took a short route to victory against McDonald’s, 16-5, in the Major division game in the 2017 Saipan Little League Baseball last Saturday at the Miguel “Tan Ge” Basa Pangelinan Ballfield.

The Braves earned the win via 10-run mercy rule after only four innings as they scored 11 runs at the top of the fourth.

Patrick Celis led the Braves’ surge in the fourth inning, as he went 2-for-2 at bat, scored two runs, and made three RBIs. Jylon Sablan and Taisei Desebel added two runs apiece with the former also posting one RBI.

Before their run rush at the top of the fourth, the Braves were only ahead by 3, 5-2, after three complete innings. Desebel gave the Braves their first run off a McDonald’s error in the opening inning. The Braves then were scoreless at the top of the second, while Ton Acosta and L.J. Reyes tallied one RBI each at the bottom to put McDonald’s on top.

However, McDonald’s stay in the driver’s seat was just temporary, as the Braves reclaimed the upper hand at the top of the third, 5-2, thanks to Jeff Borja, Heath Camacho, Desebel, and Sablan’s run. The Braves were not done yet, as after their leadoff batter was struck out, the last eight at the top of the order reached and three even scored twice to pad their lead, 16-2.

Now behind by double digits, McDonald’s needed to score at least five runs to extend the game. It came up two runs short, as Sablan struck out Joe Deleon Guerrero for the third and final out, leaving one McDonald’s runner stranded.

Meanwhile, in the other game in the division, Bank of Saipan had a repeat against the Twins, 12-10.

Bank of Saipan, which downed the Twins in their first meeting (22-17), got off to a good start to make it two in a row against the latter.

A seven-run top of the first gave Bank of Saipan the lead and enough cushion against the several comeback bids of the Twins. Bank of Saipan scored three earned runs in the first inning, two off passed balls and two more from the Twins’ miscues.

The Twins then countered with three runs at the bottom of the first and remained in contention when they also hit the board in the next five innings. The Twins threatened Bank of Saipan after their leadoff batter reached off a bunt with only one out. However, the Twins fell short in the end, as Francisco Delos Santos was tagged out going to third and Bank of Saipan pitcher Jay Reyes struck out E.J. Aldan.

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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