It was an exciting Thanksgiving weekend at the Ioane Paulo II Malaeloa Field packed with fans, friends, and families to witness exciting baseball exhibition games between American Samoa versus Samoa. Team Samoa arrived on Wednesday with two teams led by team manager Koreti Tuala, National Coach Henry Scanlan, and Assistant Bill Cable. Our host country American Samoa also fielded two teams. Filoisamoa Langkilde coached team Young Guns that was comprised of our local high school all-stars. The second team was made up of mostly players that went to the South Pacific Games called the Spartans and was directed by Victor Langkilde. The games began on Friday with two games. The first game featured Samoa’s A team against the Young Guns. This game was a thriller as it went down to the last inning with the Young Guns winning a close one 7

6. Team Samoa showed major improvements since the South Pacific Games in this particular game that could’ve gone either way. The second game featured the Spartans versus Samoa B. It ended in a 12-1 win to the Spartans which saw a monstrous blast from third baseman Perelini Perelini carrying over the 325ft mark. Charles Perelini also added in a couple of solid shots to put in to the arsenal. Saturday saw a most exciting game with our two local teams, the Young Guns against the Spartans. It was going to pit youth versus experience, and speed versus power. It turned out to be a low scoring affair. The Young Guns stuck to speed, finesse, sound defense, and to their top gun ace pitcher Tasele Scanlan who was firing on all cylinders keeping the Spartans tamed with 10 strikeouts to get the victory over the more experienced team Spartans with a score 4-0. This game ended unbelievably with a first time ever triple play by the Young Guns. The Young Guns Team displayed great talent and athleticism and showed that the future of baseball in American Samoa is now. Coach Filo Langkilde had been training this team for so many months that it paid off in the end. The second game saw Samoa’s A team playing the Spartans. The Spartans used ace pitcher from the SPG Daniel Va’a to shutdown Samoa A at 9-2 with 7 strikeouts and a blast over the right field fence. Yesterday’s game saw the Spartans stop the Samoa A team 4-1 after 4 innings due to darkness. Spartans pitcher Vena Ma’ae had 5 strikeouts, while Samoa’s pitcher Lio Tuala threw 7 strikeouts. Team Samoa’s manager Koreti Tuala thanked the local teams for the exhibition games, and the American Samoa Baseball Association for being good hosts. She also thanked everyone for coming out and supporting the boys during the games. “Baseball is still new in Samoa, but we intend to build this program into a powerhouse to be reckoned with in the South Pacific over the next four years” said Tuala. It was evident with the way Team Samoa played especially after the first game. Tuala also remarked that her goal is to see that Samoa produces a Major League Professional player. That would be a first for Samoa ever, as it still remains that Tony Solaita is the first and only Samoan to ever play professional baseball. This could spark to see when and where the next Samoan professional player will come out of, American Samoa or Samoa.

“Team Samoa accomplished more than they expected on this trip”, commented coach Filo Langkilde. “ This is a great thing for baseball in both American Samoa, and Samoa in that we are able to expose and facilitate the development and relationship of

the game and its players”, added Langkilde. Team Samoa has plans to invite Team American Samoa next year to Samoa for more exhibition games. For all those who are interested in playing baseball here in American Samoa or in Samoa, you can contact Phil Love at 252-5550 or Filo Langkilde at 252-9034.


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