Day 4 - Samoa vs. Palau
Thursday afternoon, Undefeated Palau came in thinking that they were going to have an easy game holding the best record of the tournament (4-0) and facing the team with a record of (0-4), Samoa. Samoa has been steadily improving as they begin to gain their bearings on the field and in the batter's box. Wednesday's games saw Samoa scoring two runs in each game. They looked to continue their successes in their fifth game of the competition.
Palau jumped to a quick lead of 3-0 after the first inning. Eneliko Tui hit an RBI single to drove in Sam Ah Lam.
Areta Aukuso made it to first on a single, stole second base, and then advanced to home on a passed ball. By the end of the top of the third inning the score stood at 3-3, the first time in the tournament that Samoa was not trailing.
The positive motion was short lived as Samoa pitcher Aukuso Isaia pitched his way in to bases loaded situation with no outs. Second Baseman Cleofas Iyar batted in a run, Shortstop Kalei Luii scored on a mishandled infield grounder by Kalson Dulei, another infield error allowed another run after a batter hit by a pitch drove in one run. Altogether, Palau came out with a 4 run inning. Relief pitcher Kalson Dulei came in for the top of the fourth inning and shut down the Samoan offense. Samoa's defense continued to warm up but not before Drake Yoshiwo hit deep to center field scoring an inside the park homerun as Areta Aukuso chased after the ball. The inning ended as brothers Perelini Perelini (3B) and Charles Perelini (1B) combined to beat a runner out at first base.
Tkoel Iyechad came in as relief in the fifth inning to protect a 10-3 lead with two outs and no one on base. Palau continued to capitalize on fielding errors by Samoa, Reagan Sidoi and Cleofas Iyar scoring on a bobble by Perelini Perelini. Thomas Rumong came in to bat for Kalson Dulei and drove in the final two runs of the ball game bringing the score to 14-3 and ending the game on account of the 10 run rule after five innings.
Samoa's performance is encouraging showing improvements in batting with three runs scored, up one from Wednesday's performance. Palau continues to take steps in their race for a gold medal as they enter Friday's match against New Caldonia, who have won three straight since losing to Palau on Monday.