Peter Lieto towed the Saipan Stevedore Yankees to an 11-0 win over the Blue Jays in the 2016 Saipan Baseball League last Wednesday night at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
The proud product of Saipan Little League Baseball worked the mound in five innings and played steady, giving up only two hits and no runs to help the Yankees prevail in their season-debut. Lieto also recorded 11 strikeouts in his first game of the season before being relieved by Peter Tenorio, who picked up where the former left off to silence the Blue Jays in three innings. Franco Flores closed out for the Yankees.
The Yankees were also quiet in the first two innings before finding their form in the next four and finishing strong in the last two to earn the convincing win.
Peter Tomokane had an RBI single in the third inning, while Harry Nakamura reached off a Blue Jays’ error for a 2-0 lead. The Yankees then added one run apiece in the fourth to sixth inning to widen the gap, 5-0. Nakamura got his second run in the fourth off another Blue Jays’ miscue, while Charles McDonald’s had an RBI walk in the fifth, and Gary Cruz made an RBI single in the sixth.
The Yankees were shut down in the seventh, but came out swinging in the eighth with Tomokane knocking in a two-run double. Tomokane also made it home off the Blue Jays’ booboo and the Yankees tallied one more run off their foes’ error for a 9-0 spread.
Tomokane was not done yet, as he added an RBI triple in the last inning, while Cruz registered an RBI double to finish off the hapless Blue Jays.
The third baseman Tomokane ended up going 4-for-6 at bat with four RBIs and two runs, while Nakamura was 5-for-6 and although he had no RBIs, he contributed four runs. Kapileo was 2-for-3, while Ben Leon Guerrero hit 3-for-5 with three runs.
Overall, the Yankees were 14-for-44, while the Blue Jays had a dismal 4-for-33 showing at the plate.
The Blue Jays struggled against the Yankees pitchers that the former only reached third base once. David Anthony went to as far as third after his double, but was left stranded along with two other runners when Lieto struck out James Benavente for the third out at the bottom of the fifth.
The Blue Jays also had a good chance to light up the board in the last inning with Ben Flores on second and Anthony Muna on first with two outs, but Jebehn Arthur grounded out at first.
Meanwhile, two more teams will have their season-opening game tonight as Hawaiian Rock North Starz takes on Art Man Titanium at 6pm.