Not even a rare defensive gem could save the Falcons as the 2007 Saipan Baseball League champions dropped an 8-5 decision against the Saipan Stevedore Yankees last Monday night at the Francisco M. “Tan Ko” Palacios ball field.
It was the Yankees’ second straight win, while ending the Falcons’ three-game romp to tie their victims at 3-1 behind the immaculate 3-0 slate of the defending champions GSM Brewers.
The Falcons’ defense provided the highlight play of the game—a triple play—in the seventh inning where they trailed the Yankees, 6-5.
Falcons relief pitcher Aaron Benavente forced Brian Camacho to line drive to shortstop A.J. Lizama, who stepped on second and made the throw to first baseman Nunu Kapileo for the quick 1-2-3 inning. The Falcons also had a double play in the second.
But the Yankees’ dreaded batting lineup of designated hitter Chris Camacho, Gary Cruz, Jerome Delos Santos, Ben Jones, and John Tudela played the spoilers’ role in those defensive efforts that could have been the Falcons’ highlight plays if they had won.
Camacho (1-for-3) had two runs and an RBI, while Cruz went 2-for-2 with an RBI, and Delos Santos batted 2-for-4 and scored twice in the game.
Jones had a two-RBI triple in a four-run third inning for the Yankees where they grabbed the lead. Tudela also had a run and RBI in 2-for-4 batting.
Peter Lieto’s ejection in the bottom of the fourth also did not help the Falcons’ cause as the SBL strikeout leader was having a steady performance on the mound but lost his cool and was thrown out by base umpire Mabel Ngirngemelas.
Lieto only lasted for two innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Ton Benavente started for the Falcons and allowed the Yankees to four runs, two earned, on four hits with two walks.
Aaron Benavente replaced Lieto and held the Yankees to one earned run on one hit in three innings. Jess Celis closed out for the Falcons giving up an earned run on two hits with one walk.
Yankees relief pitcher Kevin Kapileo and closer Franco Flores shut down the Falcons. Manny Cabrera pitched 3.1 innings in start allowing five runs, two earned, on four hits, while striking out two and walking two.
Kapileo pitched 4.2 shutout innings in relief giving up four hits while walking three and fanning four. Flores fanned two and forced another batter to fly out to complete the Yankees’ win.