By Gus Untalan
Despite being down by as many as seven runs and going through four pitchers, the Bank of Guam Athletics came back to defeat the Venue Smokey’s 13-8 in the Budweiser Baseball League Sunday evening at the Paseo Stadium. The win is the Athletics first of the season after having their last two games postponed due to the weather.
“We dug deep and turned it around,” said Athletics left fielder Roke Alcantara, Jr. “For us to comeback as down as we were, it feels good. We did it as a team.”
After slowly cutting the lead held by the Smokey’s, Bank of Guam found their rhythm at bat scoring an impressive seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Center fielder Mark Paulino sparked the run hitting a RBI single that drove home Alcantara, Jr. Paulino stole home on the next at bat off a wild pitch to tie the game at seven. Then, first baseman Randy Alcantara scored a run off a sacrifice fly that gave the Athletics their first lead of the game. Bank of Guam did not let up once in the lead. While on third base, a balk by the Smokey’s sent home right fielder DJ Cruz. A few batters later, Taru Ise ran home off a RBI single by Ryan Martinez. Martinez scored a run of his own off a throwing error on the field. To round out the inning, shortstop Don Juan Franquez touched home plate off a RBI single by Alcantara, Jr. passed second base to give the Athletics a commanding 12-7 lead.
The Smokey’s started the game off strong scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. A RBI single by third baseman Matthew Fernandez drove home Joseph Salas for the first run of the game. Then, shortstop JR Hattig ran home on a field error by Bank of Guam.
The Smokey’s used the momentum built in the first and continued to do well at bat in the top of the second inning scoring five runs. With two on base, Salas cranked the ball to the outfield that drove home Jermaine Tenorio and RJ Miner for the two run-scoring single. Salas would later add a run off a huge RBI triple to deep right field by Hattig. Hattig then scored a run off a RBI single by Fernandez to left field. Fernandez scored the final run of the inning off a bases loaded walk to give the Smokey’s a 7-0 lead.
Prior to the game, the Athletics had not played in 23 days due to weather conditions postponing two games. “In the first three innings we were down, it looked like we haven’t been on the field. It feels good to be back,” added Alcantara, Jr.
The Athletics finally got on board in the top of the third inning. A pass ball by the Smokey’s drove home the DH Gerald Santos. A few plays later Martinez added a run off a sacrifice fly by Alcantara, Jr.
Bank of Guam continued to find success in the bottom of the fourth inning cutting the lead by the Smokey’s. A RBI single by Ise drove home right fielder Cruz. Santos then added a run off a throwing error on the field. Ise would score the final run of the inning off a sacrifice fly by Martinez to end the inning down 7-5.
In the win, Athletics relief pitcher Sean Cruz exited the game with six strikeouts. Despite the loss, JR Hattig finished four-for-five at bat with a hit triple and a hit double.
BBL action continues Tuesday as the Crown Bakery Phillies square off against the Guam Paradise Fitness Jr. Nationals. Game time is 7pm at the Paseo Stadium. Add “Guam BBL” on Facebook for the latest news and updates on the BBL.
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