ILLAM nabs 2nd win in Little League regionals
CLARK FREEPORT ZONE - International Little League Association of Manila (ILLAM) rode the hot bat of Diego Lozano in whipping Indonesia, 11-1, and stayed in contention in the Little League Asia Pacific Regional Championships at the Clark parade grounds in Angeles City, Pampanga on Tuesday.
After going hitless in his first two matches, Lozano found his stroke and went 3-for-3 at bat, driving in two runs each with a triple and a single in the fourth and fifth innings, successively, as the ILLAM bets bounced back from 1-4 loss to Marianas on Monday.
They picked up their second win in three outings in the six-team Senior League (13-16-year-old) division of the event sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Clark Development Corp. Globe, Limitless Possibilities, Inc. and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
ILLAM tackles Guam, which took its first loss after dropping a 4-6 decision to Marianas after a marathon 11 inings, on Wednesday, with the winner advancing to the finals of the six-team field on Saturday.
With their third straight victory, the Marianas baseballers virtually assured themselves of a seat in the championship match.
Dubai shut out Marianas, 7-0, for its first win in two matches in Pool A, while Indonesia topped winless New Zealand (0-3) to recover from its opening loss in Pool B of Major League (11-12-year-old) baseball action.
In softball, defending champion Iloilo trounced Indonesia, 20-0, for its second straight win in Junior League action reduced to a best-of-three playoffs with only two teams competing in the division. The Ilonggos go for a sweep of the series on Wednesday.
Hong Kong subdued Indonesa, 10-6, in booking its first win after a loss in Group B of Junior League (12-14-year-old) play.
In the 50/70 Intermediate Division (11-13-year-old division), Indonesia clobbered Dubai,, 14-2, for its second straight win Group A while handing its foes its third straight loss.
Benefitting from a batting order change from second to fifth, the southpaw Lozano began his uprising in the fourth by cracking a liner through first base, scoring Koichi Igarashi and Igee Escano while scooting to third.
A graduating high school student at La Salle Greenhills, Lozano scored on his own through debuting batter Raf Pascual’s fly out to center field.
His single to shallow left field in the next inning likewise sent Igarashi, who had 15 stolen bases in the match, and Escano home that more all less settled the issue.
While satisfied with the outcome, ILLAM team manager Arsenic Laurel was concerned about their offense after 17 players were left stranded on base during the match.
“We will just have to pick up on our offense. It is a good thing that Lozano seems to have overcome his slump,” Laurel said.