The Saipan Stevedore Yankees opened the semifinal round of the 2014 Saipan Baseball League with a 12-2 win over the Northern Starz last Thursday night at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
Mel Sakisat and Dave Camacho pitched for the Yankees in Game 1 of their best-of-five semis series and combined for only six hits and eight strikeouts to help the pennant champions win the opener. Sakisat started out for the Yankees and gave up five hits and one earned run in six innings, while Camacho took over the mound in the last two, allowing only one hit and no runs.
Sakisat gave up an RBI single to Ricardo Dela Cruz at the top of the first inning and the Northern Starz got its second run in that frame off an error from Brian Camacho at left field for a 2-0 advantage. However, the Northern Starz’s stay on the driver’s seat did not last long, as the Yankees managed to tie the match quickly at the bottom of the second and the former shut out the latter in the last seven innings.
The Yankees got into the board right at the bottom of the first with leadoff batter Ben Jones making it home off a Mike Iguel miscue at first base, while a sacrifice fly from Pat Alepuyo in the second inning drove Ben Flores home and evened out the count. Another sacrifice fly in the fourth, this time from Greg Iskawa, gave the Yankees the lead and they never looked back, taking the win an inning early after racking up six runs at the bottom of the eighth inning.
A.J. Lizama, Brian Camacho, Flores, and Alepuyo each hit RBI singles in the eighth inning, while the Yankees tucked on two more runs off the Northern Starz’s booboos at short stop and second base for the easy win via 10-run mercy rule.
Alepuyo finished Game 1 of the semis series with two RBIs and one run off a 2-for-3 performance at the plate. Lizama also made two RBI’s and logged two runs after hitting 3-for-5.
Meanwhile, the second-ranked Brewers and the third-seeded Fielders played Game 1 of their semis showdown last Friday, but results were unavailable at press time, while the Yankees go for a commanding 2-0 lead against the Northern Starz tonight, weather permitting.