By Nickolas Akimoto
The GW Geckos began their playoff run with a dominant 19-6 victory over the Okkodo Bulldogs. Utilizing their clever base running, the Geckos put runners in key positions to score. The Geckos were led by the consistent batting of Rico Castro and MJ Babauta, while first baseman and center-fielder, EJ Cali and Kobe Pocaigue held it down with their strong fielding defense.
“Our coach told us to come out with strong batting and take advantage of the pitches.” said Castro. The team was determined to start the double-elimination playoffs with a win, and they managed to do just that.
The Geckos put on a hitting clinic as GW managed to collect 24 hits throughout the entire game.
“We work on batting every practice, and we practice our base running after every practice,” said Castro on the strong GW offense.
With this win, the Geckos move on to challenge FD in the winner’s bracket, while the Bulldogs fall into the loser’s bracket, where they will challenge the Tiyan Titans.
The Geckos gained the lead early as they managed to produce two points off the bat. With a runner on base, MJ Babauta hit a moonshot deep into the outfield, which landed outside the reach of the fielder and brought in a runner. Babauta turned on the burners and found himself at third base. Rico Castro then went up to bat and hit a line drive past the infield for a single, bringing in Babauta, making it 2-0.
The offense would come to a halt as both teams went through the next two innings without bringing in a runner. It wasn’t until Maverickson Souelian took advantage of a fielding error to steal from second, all the way to third to make the score 2-1.
With the score close, the Geckos then went on a scoring frenzy in the next at-bat. With the bases fully loaded, Jarren Gumataotao put the ball deep into the outfield and brought them all in, while only making it to second himself. That was only the beginning as GW began to find their momentum as they began to make contact with the ball, ending their at-bat with a 7-1 lead.
The Bulldogs began to rally back, after a base hit from Baltizar Felisan brought in a runner and a high pitch allowed the runner on third to steal home. Okkodo would only manage to cut the lead down to 7-3 however.
The Bulldogs rally would be short-lived, as the Geckos came out the next inning with the same momentum and brought in five more runners. The Bulldogs scored two runs in their next at-bat, but the Geckos shut the door as they brought in 7 runs in their final at-bat and shut down the Bulldogs to end the game.
“We did good today, but going forward, we have a lot of mistakes to clean up on in practice. We can’t make these same mistakes against FD,” commented Castro.
The format of the playoffs is a double elimination format with the losers bracket set to play Monday, dealing with the first round of eliminations.
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