Heading into the single-elimination playoffs, nobody expected too much from the Mongmong-Toto-Maite Falcons. After wallowing through the 50+ Guam Masters Baseball League without a single victory, their game against the undefeated Bud Light Rockin’ 50s seemed like a formality.
On Thursday night, in the league-game presented by Budweiser and Bank of Guam, with a 19-16 come-from-behind win, MTM silenced all doubters.
“It’s why you play the game,” said Falcons third baseman Luke Tedtaotao. “No one picked us to win this game. The guys came out to play and didn’t give up. Even when we were down, we came back.”
Early on, with Rockin’ 50s tagging Falcons starting pitcher Ray Blas for six unanswered runs, it seemed like business as usual.
But in the top of the third inning, Tedtaotao and Blas rocked Rockin' 50s starting pitcher Dennis Rivera. Each with a bases-clearing double, the duo helped tack on 10 runs.
Their first lead, 10-6, didn’t last long.
During their next at-bat, Rockin' 50s responded with seven runs. Ed Chaco, narrowly missing a home run, blasted a shot off the wall in left field. Hoping for the round-tripper, he settled for a two-RBI double. Increasing their lead, KenRay Paulino and Calvin Toves chipped in with RBI singles.
Back and forth, the half-centurions battled.
The Falcons, trailing 13-10, rallied with a nine-run inning. Leading 19-13, made possible with five hits and five errors in the inning, soared.
With their backs against the wall and their perfect record in jeopardy, in the bottom of the fourth inning, Rockin’ 50s came out swinging.
After a two-RBI double from JP Aguon and an RBI sacrifice fly from Chaco, Rockin’ 50s pulled within three runs.
In the fifth inning, one out away from the championship game, Falcons reliever Jeff Muna caught the batter looking.
Dave Palomo, the Falcons’ manager, hopes his team can continue to swing their bats in the finals.
He added that his team can only be successful by “not making errors” and “doing the little things” right.
The Falcons, with their ticket to the finals already punched, await the winner of tonight’s other semifinal. For their chance at the dance, in semifinal No. 2 the Yona Gold Masters and C-Menz game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at Paseo Stadium.
The championship game, scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, will also take place at Paseo.