Nokki Saralu finally found his swing to vault himself on top of the batting leaders and in the process kept the defending champion GSM Brewers afloat in the Saipan Baseball League’s 2015 season.
Last month, the Brewers third baseman was just batting .385 to tie three other players from eighth to 11th places.
Now, the former Saipan Little League standout and many time CNMI All-Star member logged a batting average of .567 as the SBL enters its final month of elimination round matches.
Saralu, who almost a year ago also jumped on top of the SBL’s batting leaders, went 7-for-10 in the Brewers’ last two games that included an 11-inning victory over the Saipan Stevedore Yankees, 15-14, last March 11.
He led the reigning titlist’s offense in that win over the Yankees going 4-for-5 with three runs, three doubles, and two RBIs.
Saralu also had a 3-for-5 plate appearance, all singles, in the Brew crew’s 8-5 loss to the Falcons on March 4. He also had two RBI singles in that match.
In February, he went 6-for-8 in the Brewers’ two wins—which was part of the Mark Flores-managed squad’s five-game first-round, sweep. He batted 4-for-4 in the Brewers’ 10-4 triumph over the Falcons where he had two RBI singles, a double, and a run.
The Yankees’ Gary Cruz and Davie Matagolai of the Jets are currently tied at second place with .500 averages followed by the Fielders’ Jimmy Brel’s .462 mark, while the Brewers’ Jesse Brel and John Tudela of the Yankees are at joint fifth to sixth with .458.
Peter Tomokane (Yankees, 423); Verlance Secharmidal (Fielders, .412); Ricardo Dela Cruz (North Starz, .400); Tyron Omar (Brewers, .370); Robert Bansil (Yankees, .360); Keola Camacho (Jets, .357); Jerome Delos Santos (Yankees, .351); Jun Rabauliman (Brewers, .344); and Cedric Ada (Fielders, .341) complete the batting leaders’ list.
Saralu is also leading the league in doubles with six followed by the Yankees’ Brian Camacho and Ada with five and four apiece.
Delos Santos is the top run scorer with 17 while Ben Jones Jr. of the Yankees, Dela Cruz, and Secharmidal are tied with 14 each. Cruz has a league-best 19 RBIs, while teammate Camacho had 17 and Secharmidal logged 12.
Secharmidal also had four triples while Dela Cruz had three and five other players are tied with two each.
Five home runs have been recorded this season with the Falcons’ A.J. Lizama blasting two, while teammate Ned Norita, Jones, and the Fielders’ Brel belting one each.
Brewers ace pitcher Vince Cepeda remains on top in the ERA and strikeout departments with a league-leading 1.11 and 54, respectively.
Lizama (Falcons, 1.38); Joe Palacios (Fielders, 1.59); Peter Lieto (Falcons, 1.89); Dave Jones (Falcons, 2.25); Peter Tenorio (Yankees, 2.32); Jonathan Tenorio (North Starz, 3.30); Kevin Kapileo (3.86); Richard Dela Cruz (North Starz, 4.20); and Mike Muna (Jets, 4.44) complete the Top 10 in ERA.
The Falcons’ Lieto and Muna of the Jets also recorded 34 and 20 strikeouts, respectively.