Auckland Baseball Association Senior All-Stars win ASPAC
Thursday, 26 April 2012 19:52
HAGATNA, Guam The New Zealand Senior Little League All-Stars beat CNMI, 2-1 to win the 2012 Senior League Asia-Pacific Regional Tournament concluded yesterday at the Paseo Stadium. New Zealand absorbed its lone loss to host Guam last Saturday, but won its other four games to finish the round of pool play with the best record.
The Kiwis advanced to the Senior Little League Baseball World Series this August in Bangor, Maine as the Asia-Pacific Regional Tournament champions. CNMI finished with a win-loss record of 3-2. Host team Guam, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and China (1-4) make up the rest of the field. New Zealand managed an early run in the opening frame from Kelloa Wehal and an error, but the CNMI buckled down on defense through the thick of the match. The match was a pitching duel between New Zealand ace Jerome Ritchie and the CNMI's A.J. Lizama. Ritchie got out of a jam in the bottom frame and left the CNMI with two men stranded, but Lizama notched his fifth strikeout in the top half of the second inning. Ritchie answered with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom side Lizama echoed his call in the top of the third, after which Ritchie and his crew held strong against the CNMI's top of the lineup.
Both teams executed impressively both on the mound and out in the field as hits came at a premium, but New Zealand grinded out its second run in the fifth inning thanks to a leadoff double to leftfield by Ham Witters. He was driven home by Sam Clerk. New Zealand's Ritchie blanked CNMI's top of the order again in the sixth inning and held them to just one run in the final. Jun Rabauliman ripped a single to left and stole two bases before scoring off an error, and Frankie Camacho made it all the way to third base, but the guys could not get the tying run to the plate. Cedric Ada and Khobby Kaipat managed to put the ball in play, but were gobbled up by New Zealand's infield.
Winning pitcher Ritchie went the distance and gave up one unearned run off seven hits with two strikeouts. He issued zero walks and canned nine put outs.
The team roster is listed below: