Four teams split their games in the Big League division of the 2014 Saipan Little League Baseball last week at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
In last Thursday’s first game, the defending champions Padres downed the Braves, 5-1, while the latter pulled off an 8-7 victory against the former in a make-up game the same night. In another make-up game last Tuesday, the Lions also eked out a close 10-9 win over the Fielders, who thwarted the former, 5-1, in the curtain raiser.
The Fielders scored all their five runs in the fourth inning to gain their third win in seven games. Four of the five runs were made off the Lions’ errors, while the lone earned run was courtesy of Cody Kaipat’s RBI double.
Before the pivotal bottom of the fourth, the Fielders were behind, 0-3. Cedric Ada hit a two-run RBI double in the first inning to put the Lions on top, while Bret Halstead added a run in the second inning off a Fielders’ miscue. The Lions then failed to roar in the next three innings before saving one run in the sixth off another Fielders’ defensive lap to slice the latter’s lead to one.
However, the Fielders kept the shaky lead and the win when relief pitcher Jose Lizama struck out the Lions’ first three batters at the top of the seventh inning.
The Lions quickly avenged the loss in the make-up game after a strong finish, scoring five runs in the last two innings.
The Lions faced a 5-9 deficit after five innings and ended a slump in the fourth and fifth with Keene Deleon Guerrero reaching home off a sacrifice out in the sixth. While the Lions made it to the board in the last two innings, the Fielders went cold, as it had three stranded runners and were called for three strikeouts with Halstead manning the mount for the Lions.
Still down, 6-9, going into the last inning, Deleon Guerrero made the winning hit, as his single drove two runners one. Earlier at the bottom of the seventh, Cedric Ada’s single brought David Matagolai home, while Justin Santos reached off an error with only one out. Before Deleon Guerrero’s single, the Lions had to outs with Fielders closer David Ada striking out Jared Ayuyu.
The Padres also scored four runs in the seventh inning to nip the Braves. Tomas Reyes blasted a two-run double, while the two other runs were made off the Braves’ miscues. The four-run top of the seventh ended the Padres’ five-inning silence. The defending champions got into the board quickly with T.J. Sablan’s single driving leadoff batter Lancaster Secharmidal home before the Padres struggled in the next five innings.
Besides scoring the first run in the match, Secharmidal pitched a complete game and gave up only one run (in the second inning). He had nine strikeouts.
In their second outing, the Braves shut out the Padres in the last three innings to join the defending champions on top of the team standings as both squads have 5-2 records.
The Braves scored four runs apiece in the third and fifth inning, while the Padres earned two runs in the first, one in the second, and three in the fourth. Trailing at 4-7, the Braves got an RBI single and RBI double from Jun Rabauliman and Raymond Saralu, respectively, and nailed two more off the Padres’ booboos to snatch the lead after five innings
The Braves kept the driver’s seat after holding strong on defense in the last three innings and stranding five runners.
Meanwhile, results of the Junior, Senior, and Major games over the weekend will be reported in Saipan Tribune later this week.