Rogolifoi wants more balanced competition next season


The Blue Jays’ Noel Cabrera makes eye contact with their catcher before pitching during their game against GSM in the 2018 Saipan Baseball League at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield. (Jon Perez)

Saipan Baseball League coordinator Tony Rogolifoi is looking to have a more balanced competition next season after several teams did not fare well against the top squads in this year’s edition of the CNMI’s premier tournament.

The Indians and the Outlaws, as of last Friday, have yet to win a game after seven matches each. The Outlaws played against Titanium on Monday night, but results of the match were unavailable at press time.

“As much as possible we want to have only eight teams, the maximum. I know they want to play, but some of the games end with the winning team leading by 15 or 20 runs,” said Rogolifoi.

The Indians gave up a total of 116 runs in seven matches or an average of 16.6 per game and scored only 32 or 4.8 every outing. They posted an average losing margin of 11.8 runs. Their biggest losing margin was when the C.K. Bears blanked them, 21-0, on Feb. 19.

The Outlaws also had a dismal showing in the competition, allowing their first seven opponents to score a total of 135 runs or an average of 19.3 per game, while making only 35. Their average losing margin was 14.3 per game with their most lopsided loss registered against the Falcons, 4-32, on March 1.

“I’m looking at having the upper teams recruit players from the bottom squads, especially the younger ones. We want to raise the level of the game and that’s our aim, especially now that there’s no longer a Big League division in the Little League,” Rogolifoi said.

Ten teams are playing this season with Go See Mark leading the pack at 8-1, followed by the 7-1 of the Chalan Kanoa Bears. Last year’s losing finalists Falcons are at third with a 5-2 mark, while the surging Mariners are at 5-3 for fourth place. The Aces (4-2), Titanium (4-4), Blue Jays (3-6), Ballistics (2-5) complete the standings.

The defending champion Aces are fighting for survival (if the league follows the original format of having the Top 4 teams advance to the playoffs). They were in a must win situation in their game against the Mariners last night. After their duel versus the Mariners, the Aces will also look for another win in their rescheduled match against the Ballistics on Friday to grab a postseason ticket.

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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