Saipan Baseball League will have two competitions once this year’s open division contest concludes early next month.
SBL director Tony Rogolifoi said they will hold both the U25 and Masters leagues after the 2018 Saipan Baseball League wraps up at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield. The SBL is on the final stages of its two round-robin regular season and may complete the playoffs in September.
Teams interested in joining the U25 and Masters league are advised to organize now and work on their uniforms and other tournament requirements to avoid delays in the opening of their respective competitions. Entrance fee for each league is $1,000.
The GSM Cubs won last season’s U25 league after pulling off a 9-8 victory over the Tanapag Falcons. The Blue Jays and the Pirates were the other teams that competed in the U25 league last season. The Cubs eliminated the Blue Jays, 12-2, to move into the finals, while the Falcons outclassed the Pirates, 9-3, in the other semis pairing.
In last year’s Masters league, the GSM Masters made it two in a row after eking out a 22-16 victory over the No. 1 seed Boleros. The Boleros were undefeated in 12 games in the regular season and ousted the Papa Bears to march into the finals before bowing to the GSM Masters. The IPI Masters were the fourth team entered in last season’s competition and won third place against the Papa Bears.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Saipan Baseball League will go ahead with its original schedule for tonight’s game with the Falcons (10-5) taking on the Blue Jays (4-10), while the two canceled matches last Monday and yesterday will be moved to next week. The Blue Jays were scheduled to square off against GSM (13-3) last Monday, while yesterday’s pairing was supposed to be the Chalan Kanoa Bears (15-1) and Indians (2-13).
The Falcons need to win their outing against the Blue Jays and two more to boost their playoff bid. The Tanapag-based team is currently tied for third to fourth place with the Mariners and is just slightly ahead of the defending champion Aces (10-6). Only the Top 4 teams will advance to the playoff round with the Bears and GSM have already secured the first two spots. The Falcons’ last two matches will be against the Aces on Aug. 14 and versus the Bears (date has yet to be determined as SBL will have to revise the schedule to include a few more make-up games).
The Aces, on the other hand, will take on the Mariners in a crucial match tomorrow, while on Friday, the two eliminated squads—Blue Jays and Outlaws (0-16) will collide.
Once the regular season wraps up on schedule, the playoffs will start on Aug. 17. The semis will be a best-of-three affair, while the finals will follow a best-of-five format.