Day 6 - American Samoa vs. Palau
In a rematch of Day Three's 14-5 defeat American Samoa came in hoping to take advantage of Palau playing it's second game of the day. American Samoa (4-2) needed a win to match second place New Caldonia's record of 5-2. On Monday, American Samoa and New Caldonia will square off again for a match that would decide 2nd and 3rd place.
American Samoa's lefty John Solaita faced off against Palau's Kalson Dulei, both keeping the opposition to one run each through the third inning. Palau's Filoteo Bruno hit a double to drive home Herman Alfonso in the fourth inning but American Samoa managed to get the ball to home plate in time to putting Alfonso out at home. Shortstop Kalei Luii followed with an inside the park homerun driving in runners from second and third base. Palau's fourth inning surge combined with a sharp defense kept any American Samoan players from reaching scoring position for the remainder of the game.
American Samoa's defense did it's best to hold off the Palau team, executing a smooth double play at the end of the 7th to prevent Palau from building on their lead. The defense could not make up for the mistakes made by American Samoa's offense in the final inning. Ben Solaita grounded to third base, advanced to second base on a failed double play but over ran second base, and was tagged out by Palau secondbasemen Cleoffas Iyar. With a runner on base, Tony Solaita hit a double to left but was called out as he slowed into secondbase. Both Ben and Tony were vicitms of the aggressive Palau defense. The final score stood at 5-1 with Palau completing regular play with a 8-0 record.
American Samoa came in knowing the gravity of their situation, but Palau showed them the reason they are undefeated. Despite American Samoa's mistakes both teams looked sharp playing one of the closest games of the competition so far. One more day of regular round-robin play is left for Monday before the playoff games begin.