INTERNATIONAL Little League Association of Manila (ILLAM)-Philippines posted a convincing 8-3 victory over Perth-Australia to grab the major boys division title of the 2014 Southeast Asia Youth Baseball-Softball Championships held at the Parade Ground of Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga.
The Australians got off to a hot start in the first inning as Joel Beeches drove home through David John’s run-batted-in (RBI) double followed by his own run via Ryan Nuttal’s grounder double for a 2-0 advantage.
After the host team tied the game in the bottom of the third inning, the Aussies scored another run in a bunt by Richard Russon aided by right fielder’s error but proved to be the last gasp for the visitors.
The Filipinos countered four back-to-back hits on a triple -double by Harper Sy and Rafael Roque, respectively, for a four-run spree as the local kids never looked back to nail the championship.
“Bottom fifth was crucial. Harper and Rafael exploded and it proved to be the backbreaker for the Australians,” Manila Blue coach Edgard delos Reyes said.
Pitcher Ryan Santos dominated the mound for his no relief job with 10 strikeouts and giving only six hits.
Singapore bagged their first ever championship by handing another defeat for the Australians via an 11-1 demolition in the senior boys division.
The Australians, however, bounced back in the other field, prevailing over Manila batters, 17-13 in the minor boys division.
In girls’ softball, ILLAM-Blue nipped ILLAM-Red in an All-Filipina finals while Perth settled for third in the senior division of the tournament supported by KFC, Coca-Cola, Mister Donut, Tokyo Tokyo, Malcolm’s Burger, Ristorante Bigoli, Clark Development Cor., Clark Water Corp. and Philippine Sports Commission.
Pasig Lady batters demolished Tarlac, 11-1, for minor division title while ILLAM salvaged consolation third place beating Singaporeans ,12-8.