Jose Lizama Jr. pitches Bears past Titanium


The Chalan Kanoa Bears’ Jose Lizama Jr., left, signals to relief pitcher Ethan Babauta to settle down, while a Titanium runner is at first base during their game in the 2018 Saipan Baseball League last Tuesday night at the Francisco “Tan Ko” M. Palacios Ballfield. (Jon Perez)

Kiku Lizama and Virgil Secharmidal drove in four runs each, while Jose Lizama Jr. pitched a solid game as the Chalan Kanoa Bears defeated Titanium, 17-11, in the 2018 Saipan Baseball League last Tuesday night at the Francisco “Tan Ko” M. Palacios Ballfield.

It was the Bears’ second win, creating a three-way logjam on top of the standings with the Falcons and GSM, while the loss spoiled Brian Camacho’s celebration after he hit the first home run of the season.

Jose started out for the Bears and pitched seven shutout innings, limiting Titanium to three hits. He also had six strikeouts and three walks.

Kiku, on the other hand, went 4-for-5 and had a two-RBI triple in the Bears’ five runs at the top of the eighth inning to lift his team to a 9-0 lead. Kiku also scored four times and had an RBI double in the second. Secharmidal, who struck out in the first, drove in four runs on a 2-for-5 batting with a double and one run. He hit an RBI double on K.J. Villagomez’s first pitch to make it 6-0 at the top of the sixth.

Ben Flores had a two-RBI single at the top of the eighth, went 2-for-2, and reached home plate thrice, while A.J. Lizama, brother of Kiku and Peyton, was 3-for-6 and scored two runs. Angle Palacios hit 2-for-4 and earned an RBI to complete the Bears’ strong batting performance.

The Bears entered the bottom of the eighth inning comfortably ahead, 12-0, before Titanium prevented the shutout after scoring four runs and threatening its opponents in the ninth.

A.J. Lizama, who replaced Ethan Babauta with two outs and Tindin Leon Guerrero about to bat at the bottom of the eighth, ended the inning after catching Bill Camacho off guard with a 2-6 putout play.

Titanium, despite facing a huge 4-17 deficit, tried to make a comeback at the bottom of the ninth and nearly forced the Bears to panic, especially when Brian Camacho hit a two-run shot.

Isaiah Lizama had a leadoff double in the ninth then scored on a Tony Leon Guerrero RBI single that sandwiched Lucio Kalen’s infield fly for the first out. Brian Camacho then hit one at right center, a two-run homer that cleared the fence to make it 17-7 with still one out.

Jerald Cabrera was next at bat and had a triple then reached home on a Jun Tenorio RBI single, while the latter also scored on an RBI double from Glen Camacho for a 17-9 count.

Jose, who returned to the game to close out for the Bears, struck out Tindin Leon Guerrero for out No. 2. The Bears pitcher then gave up a single to Bill Camacho, who later scored on an error. That was it for Titanium, as Lizama ended the game when he picked up a Kalen grounder and quickly threw to Babauta at first base.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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