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Crusaders defeat Warriors in Spring Classic Baseball Tournament

The Department of Parks and Recreation and the American Samoa Baseball Association (ASBA) concluded its first annual Spring Classic Baseball Tournament this past Saturday at the Tony Solaita Baseball Field, with the Crusaders taking the championship in a hotly contested game that unfortunately came to an end due to rain and not play.There were a total of four teams that participated in the one week-long tournament that began on March 16 and ended last Saturday, March 23. The four teams consisted of players from the Tafuna Warriors, Leone Lions, Samoana Sharks and Fa’asao Marist Crusaders high schools. The top two teams in the championship game were the undefeated Crusaders taking on the Warriors. At first, it appeared to be a low scoring affair with the Warriors leading 1-0 after the first two innings. The Crusaders, however were able to tie the game in the third inning and took the lead 4-1 in the fourth inning. The Warriors scored two more runs in the top of the fifth to close the gap to 4-3. After the Warriors completed their fifth inning with the Crusaders batting in the bottom of the fifth, heavy rain began to fall, forcing a stoppage of the game at that time. After the rain stopped, the game officials reverted to the game regulations and decided to stop the game due to the unplayable conditions of the field. According to the President of the ASBA Victor Langkilde: rules 4:10-4:11 c) If a game is called, it is a regulation game. (2) If the home team has scored more runs in four or four and a fraction half-innings, thus leading the officials to end the game and tournament. The closing ceremony followed with the Parks & Rec Director Maeata’anoa Pili Gaoteote presenting remarks and awards to the baseball participants.“A big thank you goes out to the Department of Parks and Recreation, all of the volunteer umpires, parents and supporters and especially Dave Godinet and the crew at the field for making the tournament happen,” said Langkilde.The awards for the 2013 Spring Baseball Classic Tournament are:The Top Pitcher Award: Ikaika Mahuka (Crudaders). Top Slugger Award: Pryqnce Fuimaono (Crusaders). Tournament MVP Award: Pryqnce Fuimaona (Crusaders). Championship MVP Award: Pryqnce Fuimaono (Crusaders). Championship Team Award: Crusaders. 2nd Place Team Award: Warriors. Team Sportsmanship Award: Sharks. Final Standings:TEAM W LCrusaders 6 0Warriors 3 3Sharks 2 4Lions 1 52013 BEN SOLAITA CLASSIC CO-ED SOFTBALL LEAGUEAlso last Saturday, Parks & Rec held their finals of the 2013 Ben Solaita Classic Co-ed Softball League, that had Leone Angels taking on Team Alanoa for the 2nd Annual Classic Trophy named after Ben Solaita.Ben Solaita was a founding member and president of the American Samoa National Olympic Committee, a sportsman and a big supporter of baseball and softball in the territory. He is also well-known for his captaincy of the Nu’uuli racing long boat (fautasi), the Satani. He is the brother of the late Tony Solaita, who is the only Major League baseball player to hail from American Samoa — the local baseball field carries Tony Solaita’s name.Last Saturday, the defending champions Leone Angels, were able to defend their title defeating Alanoa in a high scoring affair of 23-19. The two time defending champion Leone Angels came back from being 10 points late in the game, defeating Alanoa, who they also played and defeated last season in the championship match up. Most Valuable Male Player for the championship game was Cash Wei of the Leone Angels and the Most Valuable Female Player for the championship game was Noelle Mamea of Team Alanoa. There was also a Home Run contest that had Verna Tinitali from Team Alanoa take the title in the Women’s Home Run contest, while Tolia Solaita also from Team Alanoa took the Home Run contest in the men's division. The top four teams in this year’s 2013 Ben Solaita Classic Co-ed Softball League are the Leone Angels (Champions), Alanoa (Runner Up), EWC (3rd) and Faifai Easy (4th).