Marianas Variety

Last updateFri, 23 Feb 2018 12am







    Thursday, February 22, 2018-6:01:34P.M.






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Falcons survive Ol’ Aces in SBL opener

THE Tanapag Falcons regained their lead after the Ol’ Aces pushed two extra innings in the opening game of the Saipan Baseball League’s 2018 season at the Francisco Tanko Palacios Baseball Field Monday night.

A hit by pitch allowed shortstop AJ Evangelista to make his way to the scoring spot before third baseman Giovanni Mira drove him in with a single then, put up a comfortable gap on a wild pitch to beat the Aces, 10-8, in the 11th inning.

The game went this far when the Ol’ Aces surged to a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning with relief second baseman Angel Falig firing an RBI double followed by RBI single apiece from left fielder Jess Iguel and centerfielder, Ben Jones Jr.

Earlier in the game opened with strong defenses from both sides, designated hitter Khobby Kaipat made a debut triple before catcher Henry Iguel drove him in with a single to take the lead in the top of the second inning.

The 20-year-old Kaipat is the newest Falcon having been drafted from the NSA Braves in the defunct big league division.

The Falcons strengthened their lead in the top of the third inning on unearned runs from third baseman Ian Norita, right fielder Darren Pua and centerfielder Frankie Lifoifoi.

With a two-run single from shortstop Lamarc Iguel, and RBI single from Jesus Iguel, the Ol’ Aces tied the ball game in the bottom of the fifth.

Tanapag Falcons first baseman Bradley Lieto hits the ball during the opening game of the Saipan Baseball League’s 2018 season at the Francisco Tanko Palacios Baseball Field on Monday.  Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

But the Falcons took the lead again in the top of ninth with Evangelista driving in a run on sacrifice hit and Norita an RBI single.

Both teams tightened defense in the 10th after the Ol’ Aces evened the game in the bottom of the ninth.

Aside from Kaipat, joining the Falcons was JJ Sablan who’s back on island from Los Angeles where he played shortstop in the Little League there.

The other Falcons entering the new season are Bradley Lieto, KJ Kalen, Frankie Lieto, Henry Reyes, Joey Kalen and Joaquin Sablan.

With the Ol’ Aces, the new players on board are Jose ‘Kumoi’ Deleon Guerrero and Jeremy Atalig who played with the D-9ers in the last season; former GSM Brewers’ Tyron Omar and former Yankees’ Benwachi Taisacan.

They are joining other regular Aces figures, Nokki Saralu, Peter Tenorio, Barry Sunumai, Luis Iguel and Juan Iguel.

Aside from the Ol’ Aces and Falcons, the other teams seeing action this year are the Blue Jays, the Outlaws, GSM, the Ballistics, the Mariners, Titanium, CK Bears and the Indians (former D-9ers.)