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TITANS’ PLATE PATIENCE KEEPS THEM UNBEATEN

Three bases loaded walks proves difference in win over Friars

By Patrick Lujan

Baseball is a game of patience, and the Tiyan Titans had just that, scoring all three runs with the bases loaded late in the game to take down the two-time defending champion FD Friars 3-2 in the ISA Baseball League Saturday afternoon.

Tiyan remains on top of the league at 4-0 while FD drops to 2-2.

In a tightly contested game with hits hard to come by, the Titans used plate patience in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the final inning, forcing two base on balls to force in the tying and winning runs off reliever Coley Taitague.

Up to that point, Taitague was in line of garnering the headlines for the Friars as he went 2-for-3 and scored both runs for FD while stealing a base.

But the strike zone was difficult to find in the afternoon heat at the GW field, and the Titans happily took the free passes to take the win.

“In a game like that, anything can happen,” Titans coach Cliff Palomo said. “Players have to be patient, coaches have to be patient, and in the end, we pulled through.”

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the 7th, Tiyan loaded the bases off FD reliever Landen Miner on two walks and a hit-by-pitch. In came Taitague from left field on a position change. Taitague quickly took Titans freshman cleanup batter Javier Taimanglo to an 0-2 count before Taimanglo patiently worked a game-tying walk that scored Kainoa Cruz.

Now tied at 2-2 and the Tiyan dugout roaring in excitement, Taitague walked Graig Reyes on five pitches to send the Titans into a frenzy with the unconventional come-from-behind win.

“It’s an excellent boost of confidence,” Coach Palomo added.

Tiyan Titans catcher Ka’noa Cepeda heads straight back to the backstop to retrieve a passed ball. (photo by Christine Bansil)

EARLY GOING

Runs and hits were hard to come by in the first few innings as starters Taimanglo (Tiyan) and Saez Alvarez (FD) were effective, both not allowing any hits or runs in the first three innings.

In the second inning, Taimanglo got out of a jam – runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs – getting two pop ups and a strikeout.

The Friars struck first in the 4th as Taitague took one deep to the right field fence for a standup triple. He’d score on a balk to put FD on the board. In that inning, Tiyan shortstop Peter Concepcion had the defensive play of the game, leaping high to snag a line drive off the bat of DJ Alcantara.

Concepcion would take over for Taimanglo on the mound in the fifth.

FD would take a 2-0 lead in the 6th inning when Taitague delivered his second hit of the game, a sharp single to right. A stolen base and a passed ball put Taitague at third, where he would score on a single by Evan Acosta.

In the bottom of the 6th, two hard singles by Ka’noa Cepeda and Kaelala Leon Guerrero plus a hit-by-pitch chased FD starter Alvarez with the bases loaded and one out.

Reliever Miner brought the heat and quickly struck out Reyes, but Caleb Palomo turned an 0-2 count into a walk to draw in Tiyan’s first run.

The Titans had only three hits in the game.

OTHER GAMES

The two games scheduled at Okkodo Field were called off because the lack of umpires: Southern vs. Sanchez and Notre Dame vs. Okkodo.

The second game at GW featured the Guam High Panthers and the Geckos. GW was playing its first game of the season after rain outs delayed their play in the league. The Geckos took out all that energy with a 13-1 win over the Panthers.

Jared Datuin pitched 5 innings and got 10 strikeouts while giving up 4 hits.

Leading the Gecko attack was Eden Sudo going 2 for 3 with two singles. Jaydin Duenas was one for one with a double and three walks. John Cabrera had a ground rule double to left center to add to the attack. For Guam High Lander Young went 3 for 3 with 2 singles and a double.

(info provided by GW AD Marty Boudreau)

STANDINGS

Tiyan 4-0

Notre Dame 3-0

GW 1-0

Father Duenas 2-2

Sanchez 2-2

Guam High 1-3

Okkodo 0-2

Southern 0-3

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COMING SOON …

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro June 15-24

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

QUICK HITS

Congratulations to the 2024 Guam Rugby Cup Champions: Tao Tao Mana (Men’s Cup Champions) and Southern Rugby Club (Women’s Cup Champions)
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Three graduating ruggers have signed Division I letters to play college rugby stateside.
Saige Calvo from Okkodo heads to Mount St. Mary’s
Mia Topasna from Academy heads to Lindenwood
Tanner Costa from FD heads to Iowa Central

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