HOST Tanauan wielded hot bats to oust holder ILLAM from the championship picture in Little League Baseball with a masterful 16-4 triumph in the semifinals on Wednesday in Barangay Sala, Tanauan City, Batangas.
The Tanaueñoes bombarded ILLAM with 14 hits to reach the finals of the 11-12 age division against Northern Samar, a 22-9 winner over Tarlac the other semifinal.
The winner will join the champions in the other divisions - Iloilo (Little League Softball and Junior League Softball), reigning world titlists Manila South (Big League Softball), Muntinlupa (Big League Baseball), ILLAM (Senior League Baseball) and Tanauan (Junior League Softball) – in the Asia Pacific Middle East Tournament slated June 30-July 8 in Clark.
The Tanauan Little Leaguers turned what was expected to be a tight semifinal into a one-sided affair, with Genesis Manabat and Marty Rañada leading a sizzling offensive that left ILLAM's pitchers and fielders dazed.
Manabat blasted a three-run home run as Tanauan uncorked four runs in the fifth then Rañada duplicated the feat in the next frame to spearhead a seven-run binge that completed the hosts' domination.
Northern Samar stormed its way to the one-game championship, piling up 11 runs in the second frame to seize an unassailable 14-0 lead.
The Philippine Series 2013 is backed by Tanauan City Mayor Sonia Torres Aquino and the Philippine Sports Commission.