The Jets dominated pennant champions Red Sox in a playoff game, 9-1, to barge into the finals of the Senior League division of the 2014 Saipan Little League Baseball last Saturday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
Nathan Camacho pitched in no relief and had a two-hitter in the easy victory that arranged the Jets’ title showdown against early finalists Tanapag Braves. The Braves, who advanced to last year’s finals and lost to the deposed champions Fielders, took the first finals berth after a 6-1 triumph over the Red Sox.
The Red Sox failed to march into the finals in their second attempt, as they were neutralized by the Jets’ defense, particularly Camacho, who allowed no hits in the first five innings before giving up back-to-back singles at the bottom of the sixth inning.
With Camacho on the mound and the rest of the Jets defenders holding their ground, the Red Sox had only three players going at bat in each of the first five innings. Camacho then struck out four batters and his teammates caught six fly balls, as the Red Sox only reached base once in that stretch. Joe Tyquenco was the lone Red Sox to make it to base at the bottom of the third, advancing to first off a hit by pitch before Jesse Brel caught him stealing second base.
Earlier at the top of the second, Brel hit a two-run triple and also reached home off K.J. Deleon Guerrero’s single to lift the Jets to a 4-0 lead. The other run was courtesy of Deleon Guerrero, who scored at the top of the first off a Red Sox’s miscue.
The Jets then stretched the lead to 7-0 off Devyn Flores Flores’ RBI single and run from a wild pitch in the fifth inning and Brel’s run from the error of Red Sox first baseman Bradley Lieto at the top of the sixth.
At the bottom of the sixth, the Red Sox finally ended their drought when Jhace Palacios scored. Palacios led off for the pennant champions and singled. He then stole second and third base before reaching home when Jets catcher Franco Nakamura fumbled. The Red Sox had a chance to get another run in that inning when Tyquenco also hit a single and stole second base, however, he went back to the dugout on a double play with Camacho striking out third batter Henry Lizama and Nakamura throwing to third baseman Franklin Lizama for the tag out on the Red Sox runner. Another strikeout from Camacho wrapped up the sixth inning.
At the top of the seventh, the Jets gained two more runs off Franklin Lizama’s sacrifice and Brel’s RBI double, while the Red Sox failed to launch one final comeback at the bottom to lose their finals bid for the second straight time in one week. The Red Sox saw a bad omen at the start of the last inning when Camacho struck out leadoff batter Jobe Reyes and the Jets went on to end the former’s season after catching back-to-back fly balls.
The Jets versus Braves title duel will be played this Saturday afternoon after the Junior League finals match between the JPO Enforcers and Comets. In the Big League, the Padres are in the finals and will be battling the winner of the rubber match between the Braves and the Fielders.