Photo from Mr. Norman Macasaet (used with permission)
After a strong start and a 7-4 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Kiwi Boss Moanaroa crushed the hopes of the Philippines with a thunderous three run, outside-of-the-park home run that opened the floodgates in a 17-7 abbreviated eight inning win to eliminate the National Team Friday afternoon at the Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney, Australia.
The Philippines fought hard, but eventually caved in to the Kiwi pressure.
Early in the first inning, the Philippines was able to punch in a run, just like in their first game against the hosts. Chris Aguila connected on a one-out sacrifice that brought in Eric Farris to give the Philippines their first run of the game. However, the Kiwis were able to punch in three runs in the next two innings to gain the lead.
With their World Baseball Classic hopes at stake, the Philippines played with fire in the middle innings to take the lead. Brady Conlan slammed the only home run of the tournament for the National Team, bringing himself and Angelo Songco home to tie the game at the top of the fourth inning.
Aguila again gave the RP Baseball team the lead at the top of the fifth inning by bringing home Aids Bernardo. However, the Kiwis answered right back at the bottom end of the inning, after a line drive double by Moanaroa that brought home a runner to tie the game once more.
Gaining momentum, the Philippines unleashed a flurry against the Kiwi’s second pitcher of the day Nick Maronde. With two runners on base, Jonash Ponce connected with a grounder that brought home Brady Conlan. Wong, who had moved to third base during the prior sequence, was brought home after a fielders’ choice that knocked off Bernardo for the second out of the inning. To cap the rally, Eric Farris connected with a grounder to center field that paved the way for a Jonash Ponce run to give the Philippines a 7-4 lead.
Taylor Garrison, who had relieved Devon Ramirez, had success during the first innings his pitch. However, fatigue set in for the Filipino-American in the sixth inning. The Kiwis were able to tie the game at 7-all after Bernardo settled for a tag out that led to a Moko Moanaroa run that tied the game. With two outs and two runners on base, Boss Moanoroa knocked out a solid home run to right field that gave the Kiwis the lead for good 10-7.
The remaining pitchers in the Philippine bullpen could not find a way to halt the New Zealand momentum, giving up seven more runs in the seventh and eighth innings. A Bernardo error gave Timothy Auty a run, the 17th run of the game for New Zealand that forced a mercy rule finish to the game.
Boss Moanaroa went 4-for-5 with a homer, two doubles, and seven RBIs in the game. For the Philippines,Eric Farris had four hits, including two doubles, for the Philippines and was 5-for-7 during the entire course of the tournament.