The Talaabwogh Falcons completed a perfect run in the regular season en route to clinching the pennant in the Majors division of the 2018 Saipan Little League Baseball following a tough 8-7 victory over rival Little Legals last Sunday at the Miguel “Tan Ge” Basa Pangelinan Ballfield.
The Falcons finished the eliminations with a 12-0 record, while the Little Legals dropped to a 10-2 slate—with both of their losses recorded against the Manny Evangelista-managed Falcons. Had the Little Legals pulled off a come-from-behind win in their second outing versus the Falcons, the former would have forced a rubber match for the pennant.
The Little Legals threatened the Falcons with a late rally at the top of the sixth. However, the Falcons held their ground on defense and frustrated the Little Legals to secure the pennant.
G-Boy Pangelinan had a two-RBI double at the top of the sixth inning to move the Little Legals within one, 7-8, with only one out—a 2-3 play on Austin Diaz. Next up to bat was Benjie Palacios and he advanced to first off Joey Sharry’s error, while Cardi Borja had a fielder’s choice, forcing Pangelinan to attempt to run home. However, the shortstop was rundown by third baseman Chris Gonzalez for the second out.
Then with Little Legals runners on first and second, the Falcons went on to end the game and their opponent’s bid for the pennant when Sharry struck out Reed Camacho.
Meanwhile, before meeting the Little Legals in the pennant-deciding match, the Falcons dueled Bank of Saipan and posted a 4-2 win last Saturday.
Achilles Evangelista was only 1-for-3 at bat, but his two-run single at the bottom of the third inning sparked the Falcons’ rally. Bank of Saipan led after two and half innings, 2-0, off Demarlane Santos’ RBI double and Craig Perez’s RBI single at the top of the first. After Evangelista’s hit tied the match, the Falcons went on to grab the lead, thanks to an RBI double from Sharry.
The Falcons then moved up by two in the fourth inning when Mike Tomokane reached off a sacrifice out and the eventual pennant champions hung on as relief pitcher Noah Aguon kept his solid pitching to shut down Bank of Saipan the rest of the way.
Little Legals 12, McDonald’s 5
Before bowing to the Falcons, the Little Legals earned win No. 10 versus McDonald’s last Saturday.
Pangelinan hit 3-for-4 for the Little Legals and scored two runs and two RBIs.
The Little Legals combined for seven runs in the fourth and fifth inning to foil McDonald’s bid for an upset. McDonald’s kept the Little Legals within striking distance after three innings with the latter ahead by only 2, 5-3. However, the Little Legals gained more cushion when they got three runs off a passed ball, wild pitch, and fielder’s choice in the fourth and Camacho blasted an RBI double.
Earlier at the top of the fourth, McDonald’s was done after only four batters and then registered only one run in the fifth off Dane Hodges’ RBI single, while the Little Legals countered at the bottom of the fifth with three earned runs to seal the deal. Palacios had a two-run double, while Pangelinan made an RBI single.
Cubs 8, Comets 1
In other results last Saturday, Albert Adriano pitched 5.4 innings and allowed no earned run to lift the Cubs to victory.
The starting pitcher gave up only five hits and scored two runs. Adriano was relieved by Badung Lizama, who got the final strikeout and stranded runners at second and first to complete the Cubs’ domination of the Comets. Lizama was 2-for-3 at bat and delivered one run and two RBIs.