Day 3 - Samoa vs. New Caldonia
Day 3 in South Pacific Games Baseball saw Team Samoa's offense starting to warm up as Samoa put up its first 2 runs of the games. Samoa entered the game having allowed 28 runs and scoring 0. Thanks to the efforts of Mani Alapai and the bat of third baseman Perelini Perelini, Samoa scored it's first ever run in international play during the 2nd inning against. Samoa also benefited from errors committed by the opposing team, a change in fortune as previous days outings saw opponents benefiting from mistakes committed by the young squad.
New Caldonia's offense was quick to take advantage of 22 year old pitcher, Pelite Tila's slow release, stealing bases every time runners reached base. Four walks by Tila contributed to providing opportunities for New Caldonia to score 9 runs in the second inning. Samoa's defense, still trying to get settled on the field, committed several key judgement errors. In the 2nd inning, Tila recovered a wild pitch from third base that had landed behind home plate. With a runner at 3rd and another advancing to 2nd, Tila threw to 2nd base instead of home plate to prevent a run that scored as a result.
Second basemen Lio Tautalaua came in during the 4th to relieve Tila and retired the remaining New Caldonia batters to give Samoa it's final chance to score runs in the 5th and prevent the game from being called on runs. Samoa's Moira Lealo reached base on a single and proceeded to steal second and third base before scoring on a mishandled pitch by New Caldonia catcher, David Durand. This brought the score to 2-15. Samoa's final out came soon afterwards and the game was called in the 5th inning witha final score of 15-2, New Caldonia improving its record to 2-1
Although Samoa was unable to score any additional runs, the two runs were very encouraging signs that the team is becoming more comfortable. Team Samoa looks forward to continuing the upward trend heading into the second-half of their doubleheader as the face off with Palau in the afternoon game.