Pacific squad wins final game to advance to the semis
with 3-0 record
Facing a Mexico team in a must-win situation and in
danger of not advancing to the semifinals themselves if
they got clobbered, Guam dug deep and did what they’ve
done all tournament—win.
The Pacific champs came from down 3-0 to defeat Mexicali,
Mexico, 5-3, in front of 4,855 at Volunteer Stadium.
The big inning was a wacky fifth that saw Guam score
four runs against Mexico starter Vicente Ayala on only
one hit along with three walks, two errors, a wild pitch
and a passed ball.
The craziness began when with one out and Mexico leading
3-1, Calvert Alokoa drew his second walk of the game
(and fifth in his last two games).
Eric Alcantara followed by executing a perfect sac bunt
to third base. Mexico’s Kevin Garcia fielded the ball
cleanly, but his throw hit Alcantara on the elbow as he
was running down the first base line, allowing him to
reach safely and moving Alokoa to third.
Ayala walked opposing pitcher Trae Santos to load the
bases for Sean Manley, who came through with a single
that scored Alokoa and Alcantara. A third run came
across when Mexico catcher Carlos Camano chucked the
ball into the outfield while trying to throw out Manley
trying to take second, giving Guam a 4-3 lead.
“I was just relaxed, and my intention was to hit the
ball,” Manley said of his thoughts at the plate before
his big RBI base hit.
Guam made it 5-3 when Manley advanced to third on a wild
pitch and scored on a passed ball to close out the wild,
“The errors killed us,” said Mexico manager Juan Minor
through interpreter Micah Hughes. “If you’re not going
to play well in the field, you can lose games. Those who
take advantage of opportunities win, and they took
It was Mexico who took advantage of opportunities in the
In the bottom of the first, Julio Arciniega hit a
one-out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch by
Santos. Guam shortstop Byron Quenga then made a
sensational catch on a line drive up the middle to rob
Garcia of a base hit for out No. 2.
followed by grounding a ball to third baseman Sean
Manley, who fielded the ball and fired to first. But
Jeremy Taijeron dropped Manley’s throw and had the ball
get by him, allowing Arciniega to score the game’s first
run, making it 1-0 Mexico.
Mexico increased their lead in the third when leadoff
hitter Nordan Gomez beat out a bunt for a base hit on
what looked to be a tie at first base. A passed ball by
catcher Alokoa permitted Gomez to go to second and then
score on a double by Arciniega.
Santos then struck out Garcia to bring Camano to the
plate with another chance to drive in a run. This time
Camano didn’t need any help from the Guam defense, as he
singled to score Arciniega and give Mexico a 3-0 lead.
Guam finally struck against Ayala in the fourth.
Santos helped his own cause with a leadoff double, the
first hit of the ballgame of Ayala, and Sean Manley
followed with a single to put runners at the corners.
Guam manager Shon Muna showed his team’s trademark
aggressiveness when he called for a double steal, only
to have pinch-runner Valiant Borja thrown out at the
“We take that gamble down three runs,” said Muna.
Chad Fernandez followed by hitting a ground ball to the
right side of the infield. First baseman Mario Rosas
fielded the ball and instead of going to first, threw
the ball to third to erase an advancing Fernandez.
A hit batsman and a wild pitch by Ayala put runners at
second and third, setting the stage for Taijeron’s RBI
single to centerfield that cut Mexico’s lead to 3-1.
From there on it was all Guam, as the bats came alive
and Santos settled down.
“After the third inning [Santos] started feeling more
comfortable and he pitched well,” Minor said through
Hughes. “The credit goes to their pitcher.”
Santos allowed only one hit in the last three innings
and finished the game with his own exclamation point by
striking out the side.
“I was pumped because I knew that we only had three outs
left and I wanted to get it over with,” Santos said.
With the win, Guam advances to the semifinals undefeated
and takes with them Canada from Pool C. It will mark the
first time a team from Canada has advanced past pool
play since 1998 when Langley Little League accomplished
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