After splitting the first two games of the Western Pacific Series PONY Baseball Friendly with Hong Kong, Team Guam erupted for 15 hits to take Game 3 by a score of 23-6. The win assures Team Guam a series tie in the four-game series set to finish with Game 4 on Tuesday night.
Guam starting pitcher Jadein Evangelista allowed just one hit and struck out four over three innings to earn the win. Alex Fitiausi pitched a scoreless fourth inning, stretching his total to four shutout innings in the series. Vance Torres struck out two to close out the fifth inning.
“Our pitching has been very good,” acknowledged Guam pitching coach Joe Ruhland. “The guys are throwing strikes and challenging hitters.”
The offense found their rhythm after showing flashes of potential in the first two games. Leadoff hitter Jeremiah Sablan was 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Sablan has reached base seven times in three games.
Third baseman Ashton Tedtaotao was 2-for-3 with his second double of the series. Javier Concepcion chipped in with four RBIs.
Sean Balauro added two more hits and is hitting 6-for-8 with four runs scored through three games.
Oscar Cheng was 1-for-3 with a run and RBI for Hong Kong. Cheng is 3-for-9 with three runs scored and three RBIs in the friendly exchange.
While Guam played a great game, Hong Kong may have been tired after a morning field trip to John F. Kennedy High School. The visit was a cultural exchange between the Hong Kong Baseball Association and Guam Amateur Baseball.
Hong Kong players paired up with JFK student-athletes and attended classes for the first block of the day. Afterward, the team was treated to a high school lunch at the cafeteria.
Hong Kong Coach Cheung On said the American school environment was different than schools in Hong Kong but a good experience for his boys to get outside their comfort zone, adding, “It helps them to understand other people.”
On explained that schools in Hong Kong were entirely focused on academics and that athletics and recreation, which are considered low priority, weren’t given much time.
While the Hong Kong boys were nervous at first, it didn’t take long for them to be chatting and playing games with their new Islander friends. Visitors and hosts both seemed to enjoy the experience.
Paul Long, athletic director for JFK, highlighted the school’s willingness to embrace outside groups.
“We try to be as open as possible to any type of off-island athletes to help benefit the program and our kids,” he said. “They get to experience what an American high school is like and what our athletes do not just for sports but academics as well.”