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GUAM DOMINATES NEW ZEALAND TO MOVE TO WORLD CUP

U15 squad to represent Oceania in 2024 Baseball World Cup

By Patrick Lujan

After a weekend of rain outs, the WBSC U15 Oceania Qualifier came down to a winner-take-all Game 3 Monday afternoon with Guam and New Zealand tied at 1-1.

The Guam boys came out with a load of energy and hype, scoring nine runs in the opening inning to run away with a 13-2 win over the Kiwis Monday afternoon at the Paseo Stadium.

The game ended after the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule.

“The boys came out ready to play,” Guam manager Keith Hattig said. “All I told them was, ‘there’s no tomorrow, play hard, start early and play good hard baseball’.”

Started early they did, scoring nine runs in the first inning and never looked back. Guam added four more runs in the second inning to cap off their scoring.

The offense was led by Max Dirige, Coen Pangelinan and Talen Taitano – all going 3-for-4 with Dirige taking the tournament MVP award.

Max Dirige gets set in the on deck circle, scouting the opposing pitcher. Dirige was named tournament MVP. (photo by DJ Foster)

“Max Dirige led the way for Guam,” manager Hattig said. “He keeps the guys up by leading them to stay up and keep playing hard.”

On the mound, Javier Taimanglo was steady, giving up only one run in the second inning in completing four innings. Big Nate Cruz closed things in the fifth.

“Javier was our guy today on the mound. He was on and off but he battled his way out of tough situations to end the innings. Overall, it was all a team effort and a lot of heart today,” Hattig added.

Hattig said the team had only about six weeks to prepare for this Qualifier.

“With the short time we had with them, it was tough. I knew if they did the right things it would give us a chance to win. They did just that when they needed to. Great job champs. Now we’ll prepare for the World Cup.”

The date and location for the 2024 World Cup has yet to be determined. Guam participated for the very first time this year in Mexico and placed 12th out of 13. This squad hopes to improve on that.

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COMING SOON …

Guam Track & Field National Championship May 26

All-Island Wrestling Alumni Tournament June 8

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro

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