Go See Mark will enter semifinal round of the 2017 Saipan Baseball League unscathed as it swept the regular season following a 12-2 victory over the D-9ers last Wednesday night at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
GSM finished the double-round robin elimination with an impressive 14-0 record, securing a flawless mark after downing the D-9ers in eight innings.
A three-run top of the eighth inning set up GSM’s early victory via 10-run mercy rule. Peter Tomokane and Anthony Tenorio each hit a RBI double, while John Taitano made an RBI single to give GSM the double-digit lead, going into the bottom of the eighth.
GSM went on to keep 10-run advantage and wrapped up the match one inning early as the D-9ers were done at the bottom of the eighth after only four batters. Leadoff batter Jon Wilson was fanned out by GSM closer Kevin Kapileo, who gave up a single to Roke Tenorio in the ensuing play. Tenorio then managed to steal second and third base, but was stranded there as GSM ended the game with Kapileo striking out Tony Benavente and Jeremy Atalig.
With the loss, the D-9ers fell to a 4-7 record and is a long shot for two of the remaining semis berths in the eight-team field, leaving Titanium (7-7), Falcons (6-6), and defending champions Chalan Kanoa Bears (6-6) to battle for the final two playoff slots. The BSI Aces took the second playoff seat as early as last week as they are second behind the unbeaten GSM with the latter holding a 10-3 slate.
GSM cruised to its 14th win despite getting off to a slow start. The pennant champion scored only one run in the first inning with Tenorio reaching off a sacrifice fly from Tomokane. Fortunately for GSM, the D-9ers could not also hit their targets and were silent in the first two innings before making one run in the third, but were limited to one run anew in the last five. Ben Lizama gave the D-9ers their first run when he stole home in the third, while Wilson posted the second and last off a fielder’s choice.
GSM after being held to one run in the first and none in the second, registered two runs apiece from the third to sixth inning to gain cushion en route to its early victory.
Meanwhile, Titanium won its last two games to stay in playoff contention. It first defeated the Comets last Friday, 11-8, and then crushed the Falcons last Tuesday, 20-2.
Titanium recorded eight runs in the first three innings to take control of the match and kept its lead after surviving the Comets’ late rally.
Against the Falcons, Titanium went for the kill at the top of the ninth inning after firing 10 runs. Jerald Cabrera led the Falcons in the pivotal inning as he went 2-for-2 at bat and scored one run while collecting four RBIs.
With its back-to-back wins, Titanium now waits for the results of the remaining games of the Falcons and Bears to determine its fate in the playoffs.