Anthony Tenorio’s walk-off hit helped Team CNMI overcome Kosrae’s gallant stand and squeeze out a 3-2 win in the opening game of the 2017 Micronesian Baseball Classic yesterday at the Paseo Stadium in Agana, Guam.
With the match tied at 2-2 and runners at first and second at the bottom of the seventh, Tenorio hit a grounder to left and A.J. Evangelista sprinted toward home plate to score the winning run for the defending champion. The CNMI topped the inaugural event after completing a 15-14 come-from-behind win over Guam in last year’s tournament held on Saipan.
Kosrae, which placed fourth in the 2016 competition, managed to go toe-to-toe with the CNMI sluggers the entire game of yesterday’s opener, but the nine errors the former committed was the glaring statistic that foiled its chances of pulling off an upset over the defending champion. Team CNMI only had one error.
“It was a good thing that the boys were able to hit and score. It was a really close match and we managed to sneak in that game-winning hit,” Team CNMI manager Tony Rogolifoi told Saipan Tribune in a phone interview last night.
Team CNMI will take a rest today and will face Guam’s Under-23 national junior team at 7pm on Thursday. Rogolifoi’s wards will then play a double-header on Friday, taking on Palau at 3pm and the Guam National Team at 7pm.
Joining Tenorio and Evangelista on Team CNMI are Brian Camacho, Angel Palacios, Jobe Reyes, Ian Norita, Peter Tomokane, Virgil Secharmidal, Franco Nakamura, Henry Lizama Jr., Ricardo Dela Cruz, Barry Sunumai, Jerald Cabrera, Manny Cabrera, Joe Palacios, Nathan Camacho, Jhace Palacios, Lorenzo Sebaklim, J.J. Lifoifoi, L.J. Sebaklim, and Ethan Babauta.
Meanwhile, with Team CNMI competing in Guam, games in the Saipan Baseball League’s Masters and U25 divisions from Nov. 14 to 20 have been rescheduled. Team CNMI will return to Saipan on Nov. 21 and SBL games will resume the following day.