Game 23
Pacific 5
 vs. Mexico

Monday, August 23, 2005
5:30PM ET
Volunteer Stadium

Total Guamination
Pacific squad wins final game to advance to the semis with 3-0 record

By Nick Williams

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, four-run inning.

“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 advantage.”

It was Mexico who took advantage of opportunities in the earlier innings.

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.

Camano 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 plate.

“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 the feat.

Game Photos

2005, Little League Baseball Incorporated
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