Go See Mark remained in contention for the second and last finals ticket in the 2019 Saipan Baseball League following a 5-2 victory in Game 2 of their semis showdown against the Mariners last Saturday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
GSM had a four-run bottom of the second and shut down the Mariners in the first three innings to force a rubber in the best-of-three semis series. Game 3 will be played this Saturday with the winner in the decider challenging the pennant and defending champions Chalan Kanoa Bears in a best-of-five title duel.
Jerome Delos Santos, Manny Sablan, Luis Diaz, and Jimmy Demapan scored at the bottom of the second inning to put GSM on top, 4-0, after three complete innings.
The Mariners, who took Game 1, 6-4, missed sweeping the short series and advancing to the finale, as they had no runners reaching past first base in the first three innings. The Mariners had a 1-2-3 at the top of the first with Ton Tenorio and Nate Camacho having beaten to first and GSM starting pitcher Chu Sebaklim striking out Pat Tenorio.
In the second inning, Eli Aughenbaugh and Gary Cruz were also out at first, while Nate Smith was left stranded at first when Chu fanned K.J. Deleon Guerrero. The Mariners’ offensive struggle continued in the third, as Chu struck out Alex Benavente and Jonah Flores and then picked up a grounder and threw it at first base to Sablan to tag out Tenorio.
After being frustrated by GSM’s defense in the first three innings, the Mariners finally got into the board at the top of the fourth, courtesy of Nate and Cruz’s runs, to move within two, 2-4.
However, GSM made it a 3-run lead in the ensuing inning with Demapan getting his second run in the game. GSM went on to keep its distance, as Chu and his teammates silenced the Mariners anew in the last three innings.
The Mariners missed a chance to score in the fifth inning, as Ton Tenorio was stuck to third when his brother Pat flied out at rightfield for the third out. The Mariners were earlier called for two quick outs when Benavente and Flores were beaten to first.
In the sixth inning, the Mariners also went down early when Chu fanned second batter Aughenbaugh and the former’s brother, second baseman L.J. Sebaklim, shortstop Dennis Cabrera, and Sablan teamed up for a double play.
GSM kept hammering the Mariners on defense in the seventh and last inning, as it forced Smith to a 5-3 putout play and got the second out immediately with rightfielder Keoni Kaipat catching a fly from Deleon Guerrero. Chu then walked Jon Villagomez, keeping the Mariners in the game, but not for long, as the GSM ace pitcher finished off their foes by striking out Flores.