Little Legals vs Falcons in semis


Alexiana Tyquengco beats the Braves pitcher and catcher to home plate during the top of the fifth inning of their quarterfinal game in the Majors division of the SLLB yesterday at the Miguel “Tan Ge” Basa Pangelinan Ballfield. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Kagman Little Legals and Talaabwogh Falcons set up their semis duel in the Majors division of the 2016 Saipan Little League Baseball after eliminating their respective playoff opponents yesterday at the Miguel “Tan Ge” Basa Pangelinan Ballfield.

The Falcons made it to the Final Four round ahead of the Little Legals after shutting down IT&E Regulators in the second game, 5-0. The Little Legals followed suit, easing past the Braves, 12-1, in the third match in the quarterfinal round, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, but was moved to yesterday due to rain.

Relief pitcher Delbert Sablan had a no-no to lift the Little Legals to the early win via 10-run mercy rule.

Sablan worked the mound in 3. 1 innings and started his shift with a strikeout to end the botom of the second inning. He retired four more batters in the ensuing innings and complemented his good pitching with a 2-for-3 performance at bat while scoring a double, single, and two runs.

Sablan came in for Justin Agulto, who began the game by striking out the Braves’ first three batters, but struggled in the second, prompting the Little Legals to call in Sablan. Agulto left the mound after giving up an RBI single to Jylon Sablan, walking four runners, and fanning out one with the game tied, 1-all.

A four-run top of the third broke the deadlock and the Little Legals never looked back from thereon. Delbert Sablan had an RBI single and stole home in the third, while Gunner Sablan and John Pangelinan reached off passed balls for their 5-1 advantage.

The scores did not change after four complete innings, as the Braves had back-to-back 1-2-3 innings, while the Little Legals were also done after only three batters at the top of the fourth.

The Little Legals then came out swinging at the top of fifth, delivering seven runs to set up the easy win one inning early. Lucio Aldan starred in the penultimate inning as the hit a two-RBI double and also scored off the Braves’ error at second base. The Little Legals four other runs also came off the Braves’ defensive miscues.

Now down by 11, the Braves must make at least two runs to stay in the game. However, they could not handle the pressure as leadoff batter Isidro Cabrera went out on a 5-3 play, while Ignacio Aldan was left stranded at second after Delbert Sablan retired Joel Borja and Christopher Pangelinan.

Meanwhile, pitchers Keoni Serrano and Kyle Kapileo combined for a three-hitter and 15 strikeouts in the Falcons’ shutout of IT&E

Serrano started out for the Falcons and threw a two-hitter in three innings pitched, while fanning out seven batters. Kapileo took over the mound at the beginning of the bottom of the fourth and after giving up a double in his first throw, he settled down and retired eight batters, while walking only two.

With the Falcons getting solid games from their pitchers, the closest that IT&E could get to scoring position came only in the fourth inning as after Patrick Celis doubled, he reached third off a passed ball. He was eventually left stranded at third along with Jay Palacios at second, as Kapileo got three straight strikeouts. Kapileo duplicated the feat at the top of the fifth for a 1-2-3 inning.

Kapileo also scored a run at the bottom of the fifth, while Serrano had an RBI single for the Falcons’ 5-0 advantage. The two pitchers also logged the Falcons’ two runs in the first inning, while Mike Tomokane delivered an RBI single in the fourth.

Kapileo went on to close out the match with two straight strikeouts, leaving Celis stranded again, this time at first. Keith Aldan led off for IT&E at the top of the sixth and flied out to first.

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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