Connect with us

Baseball

GUAM MASTERS HIT SUCCESS IN QUEST FOR GOLD

That little island in the Pacific Ocean thrusted itself into the sports world limelight Oct. 8 when it captured — in historic fashion — the 2017 Las Vegas Senior Softball/United States Senior Softball World Masters Championship in the Men’s 40-over AAA division.

By EDDIE SIGUENZA

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — “Hayi, hayi, hayi? Guam, Guam … Guam!”

That little island in the Pacific Ocean thrusted itself into the sports world limelight Oct. 8 when it captured — in historic fashion — the 2017 Las Vegas Senior Softball/United States Senior Softball World Masters Championship in the Men’s 40-over AAA division.

Bud Light Guam, the two-time defending bronze medalist, became historic champions when it defeated Color By Design (CBD) (Maryland) 18-16 in the gold medal game. The Big League Dreams complex erupted when Guam outfielder John McDonald caught the final out, and the pro-Guam crowd rang a Chamorro chorus of “Who, who, who? Guam Guam … Guam” followed by the Finohge Chamorro, Guam’s national anthem.

“This is something very monumental, something very significant,” said USA Senior Softball national director Dave Dowell. “Only once has a non-continental U.S. team won our world tournament, and they were from Canada. This is the first time it’s ever been done in the 40-division. It’s unbelievable and extremely an honor to Guam.”

“It came down to the last inning again,” said Bud Light Guam head coach Robert Meno. “It came down to the boys showing a lot of heart. They wanted to do this for Guam. The island can really be happy. We’re going to show the excitement when we get home.”

The clinching victory didn’t come easy. Guam was up 18-9 entering the last inning. Color By Design — the East Coast national Triple-A champions — rallied to close the gap and even had the tying run at the plate. But at the final out, Guam’s six-year journey to win the softball world title (the inaugural team began in 2012) was celebrated with U.S. Senior Softball executives awarding the Guam unit with certificates, world champion rings, and a two-foot trophy.

“It’s just the maturity of the team,” said Russell Maratita, one of a handful of players who remain from that 2012 squad. “We’ve been here long enough to know it takes a lot of mental toughness to get to that next level. We worked hard to make sure we were prepared.”

The historic Bud Light Guam team that took top honors in 2017 Las Vegas Senior Softball/United States Senior Softball World Masters Championship in the Men’s 40-over AAA division Oct. 8 at the Big League Dreams Softball Complex, Las Vegas. Kneeling: Russell Maratita; Chris Guzman; Tony Yatar; Benjie Pangelinan; Robert Meno, head coach; Pete Concepcion; Joe Rivera; Jesse Sablan and Keith Hattig. Standing: Peter Aguon, assistant coach; Laurence Idelbong; Mike Snitz; Glenn Nelson; Herbie Hattig; John McDonald; Luis Camacho; Mike Cepeda; Patrick Alvarez; Jimmy Reyes and Jarvis Quenga. (Photo by EDDIE SIGUENZA)

The team dedicated the win to former coach Pete Torres, whose wife is currently battling cancer, Maratita explained. He added that the victory couldn’t come without the support of hundreds of Guam fans who travelled to Las Vegas from different parts of the nation as well as home.

“It was a whole Guam community effort for us,” said Maratita. “We couldn’t ask for greater support.”

Keith Hattig, Peter Concepcion, Herbie Hattig, Peter Aguon, Mike Cepeda and Maratita are the original players from that first masters squad who rostered this year. Meno and Aguon took the coaching roles and successfully planned how to use newcomers Jess Sablan, John McDonald, Tony Yatar and Joe “Cockroach” Rivera into the system with other veterans.

“We’ve been trying to get over that bronze medal hump,” said Aguon. “This really means a lot to all of Guam. The only thing we’re representing is Guam.”

Two days earlier, U.S. Senior Softball executives honored five Guam teams with Sportsmanship Awards, another first for the Islanders.

Guam ended the three-day tournament 7-1. Bud Light Guam launched itself into the gold medal game with a 20-19 thriller over No Limit (California), the West Coast national Triple-A champions. In the double-elimination championship, Color By Design came back for a 21-20 win. That forced the final “if” game which Guam won.

“This is why you’re here. This is what we play for: One game,” Dowell said to the Guam players before the final contest. “Play awfully hard. It’s one game for everything.”

Bud Light Guam bested 32 teams in its division. More than 600 teams make up senior softball in various age divisions including a women’s category.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Ad

Athletes Birthdays by W5

GPS Sports Calendar

May

June 2021

July
SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
Events for June

1st

Events for June

2nd

No Events
Events for June

3rd

Events for June

4th

Events for June

5th

6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Events for June

6th

Events for June

7th

No Events
Events for June

8th

Events for June

9th

No Events
Events for June

10th

Events for June

11th

Events for June

12th

13
14
15
16
17
18
19
Events for June

13th

Events for June

14th

No Events
Events for June

15th

Events for June

16th

No Events
Events for June

17th

Events for June

18th

Events for June

19th

20
21
22
23
24
25
26
Events for June

20th

Events for June

21st

No Events
Events for June

22nd

Events for June

23rd

No Events
Events for June

24th

Events for June

25th

Events for June

26th

27
28
29
30
1
2
3
Events for June

27th

Events for June

28th

No Events
Events for June

29th

Events for June

30th

No Events

Foody’s Fun Facts

Favorites From Year 2

Polls

Which omitted high school sport did you miss the most?

View Results

Tokyo Olympics Countdown


2021 Tokyo Olympics

COMING SOON …

FRIDAY

 

 

UFC Fight

July 25: Trevin Jones vs. Tony Kelley

QUICK HITS

The Guam Legislature recently paid homage to Michael Reidy, who passed away stateside in March. Reidy was instrumental in getting Guam into the Olympics in 1988 as well as a founding father of the island’s paddling community.

 

——————————————————–

 

Nadine Del Carmen graduated from Santa Clara University on June 11. She was named captain of the Santa Clara women’s tennis team in her senior year and she will be attending Georgetown University in the fall to pursue her masters and will be playing for the Hoyas women’s tennis team.

 

 

More in Baseball