The National – Tuesday, February 1, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
UNITED Brothers put on a much improved performance in batting to beat Gazelle 13-5 in the main game of Port Moresby A grade softball match on Sunday.
Gazelle elected to bat but did not score any runs in the opening inning as Brothers pitcher Samuel Ropa stood his ground to send the big hitters back to the dug-outs.
Four home runs by Jacob Niggints (2), Dick Bart jr and Carlos Sangul were enough to send Gazelle back to their training grounds for more practice.
After a poor performance last weekend, Brothers led by skipper Dick Bart, never looked back from the opening innings.
Slugger Tony Daple surprised everyone on the diamond to record three runs despite falling short of a home run.
Gazelle opened the game with batting but did not score any runs.
Brothers turn at the bat saw them scored two runs through opening batter Daple and a homer from Niggints to put them in front 2-0.
Colin Mangot came home from a good line drive on the third base to post the first point for the Antelope to trail 2-1.
Brothers picked up five points through Gazelle’s confusion and infield errors, to allow the latter to scoring runs through short stop Kaumu Vailala, pitcher Ropa, Daple and Niggints, while Bart’s home run brought the score to 7-1.
The scores certainly put a smile on Brothers number one supporter Sandy Kagl and his band of supporters from Western Highlands.
At the top of the third inning, Chris Pamel hit a good fly ball to outfield to bring Demas Totil jr for the second point while Pamel sneaked home to register another point to bring Gazelle scorline to 7-3.
At the bottom of third inning, Gazelle coach Pascalis Pinia introduced veteran Patrick Pilak on the pitching mound while Tony Karani as backstop.
After walking two Brothers’ players, Gordon Johnson and Vailala to first and second base respectively, Pinia changed his mind to recall Karani back to pitching mound and bring back Tony Francis took backstop.
The re-introduction of Karani backfired when Sangul connected a good ball over the boundary for a homer to take Johnson, Vailala and himself home to increase their lead to 10-3. Ropa was caught out while Daple made a good hit to outfield to advance to first and second base.
The poor pitching by Karani advanced Daple to third base before Niggints stepped on the batting box.
Niggints connected another good homer to pick up another two vital points through Daple and himself to extend the lead 12-3.
At the top of the fourth inning, Brothers introduced Nelson Kiap at the pitching mound which saw Gazelle picking up two points from Steven ToVue and Harry Mathews to trail 12-5.
At the bottom of fourth inning, Brothers picked up a single run through Niggints to win the match 13-5.
In other matches, Stingers downed Kopex 8-6, Dolphins shot down Defence 4-3, Brown Eagles and Mantarays fought a 0-0 draw and PNG Power survived a late fight back by Bears to win 2-1.
The points ladder: PNG Power 20, Dolphins 20, Brothers 19, Mantarays 16, Bears 12, Eagles 11, Gazelle seven, Stingerz six, Defence five and Kopex two.