McDonald’s pounds Braves


McDonald’s closer Dillon Santos prepares to deliver a pitch during the bottom of the fifth inning of their Majors division game against the NSA Braves in the 2019 Saipan Little League Baseball last Saturday at the Capital Hill Ballfield. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

McDonald’s pounced on the NSA Braves, 16-3, during the lone Majors division game played in the 2019 Saipan Little League Baseball last Saturday at the Capital Hill Ballfield.

McDonald’s saved the best for last, scoring nine runs at the top of the sixth inning for the easy win—the team’s third in four games. Casey Chambers and Kazu Dela Cruz delivered two runs apiece at the top of the sixth, while Dillon Santos, M.J. Tudela, Isaiah Mesa, Ezra Ada, and Champ Aldan added one run each. Santos, Chambers, Tudela, and Dela Cruz also made one RBI apiece in McDonald’s strong finish.

After pounding the Braves at the top of the sixth, Santos completed McDonald’s domination after striking out three batters to end the match.

Santos worked the mound for McDonald’s in three innings and threw a one-hitter, while fanning 10 batters. With Santos pitching, the Braves failed to score and reached third base only once. The McDonald’s closer struck out Eric Camacho and Marino Santos for a 1-2-3 inning in third, as leadoff batter Fabio Norita earlier flied out. Santos then gave up a single to leadoff batter Aldrin Flores in the fourth before fanning Jacob Babauta and Willy Lieto, while Nick Taisacan went down on a 4-3 play to end the inning.

It was also a quick fifth inning for the Braves with Santos striking out Kallan Sadley and Norita after leadoff Stanley Iakopo flied out at second. The same thing happened in the last inning with the Braves done after only three batters.

Santos and starting pitcher Mesa combined for 15 strikeouts. Mesa gave up no hits and earned runs, as the Braves’ three runs were scored off errors at first and second base. Iakopo and Norita reached at the bottom of the first inning off McDonald’s booboo at second base, while Babauta also scored in the second inning from their foes’ error at first.

The pair of runs at the bottom of the first inning gave the Braves the temporary lead, as earlier at the top, only Chambers scored for McDonald’s. However, McDonald’s quickly grabbed the upper hand with a four-run top of the second and never looked back. Jordan Agulto had a two-run double in the second inning and also reached off Chamber’s double, while the latter scored from a wild pitch for McDonald’s 5-3 advantage after two complete innings.

McDonald’s then registered one run each in the third (Lance Acosta’s RBI single) and fourth (Santos’ run off the Braves’ miscue at first base), while the Braves failed to counter the rest of the way, allowing the former to cruise to victory.

Meanwhile, the Falcons got a free win last Saturday after the JZ Twins forfeited the curtain-raiser in the Majors division last weekend.

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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