GSM clinches second finals berth

The GSM Masters’ Ed Diaz waits for the pitch from the IPI Masters during their semis game in the 2017 Saipan Baseball League last Wednesday night at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Pete Sablan pitched three solid innings in relief, while Walter Macaranas did his share at the plate to help the GSM Masters complete a 19-12 drubbing of the IPI Masters in the Saipan Baseball League’s Masters division semis game last Wednesday night at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.

Sablan replaced starter Joe Terlaje at the top of the fourth inning, giving up two runs on three hits while striking out six and allowing one walk. Terlaje tossed the first three innings and surrendered eight runs on 11 hits, retiring two batters while walking two more. Tony Flores closed out for GSM and after allowing Manny Tenorio to score on a wild pitch, the former settled in with a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh. He struck out Ed Santos and Phil Celis, and forced Manny Villagomez to ground out to third to end the game.

Earlier, Macaranas, with GSM down at 5-9 after 2 1/2, slapped a two-RBI double in a five-run third inning to help their team hold on to a one-run lead entering the fourth, 10-9. GSM never relinquished the driver’s seat from thereon.

The win propelled GSM to a winner-take-all title match on Monday against the undefeated Boleros, who topped the Papa Bears, 13-3, to clinch the first finals berth. IPI and the Papa Bears will face-off in another one-game battle for third place at 6:30pm tonight.

John Acosta had a pair of RBI triples in the first and second innings, while Pepi Tenorio added a two-RBI single in the third to help IPI establish the four-run lead heading into the bottom half of the third.

Macaranas, however, brought GSM back into the game and also got plenty of help from his teammates with Terlaje and Rep. Vinnie Sablan making RBI single each.

Ben Duenas and Mel Sakisat shared the mound for IPI, surrendering 11 runs on 12 hits while retiring two and walking four batters.

In other news, SBL coordinator Tony Rogolifoi is calling all representatives of interested teams to attend a meeting for the upcoming league on Tuesday at 5:30pm at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

For more information, call Rogolifoi at 234-6672 or 285-3966.

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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