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AMIGOS TAKE CHAMPIONSHIP

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By Regina Shiroma

Amigos catcher Brod Santos rushes to catch a foul ball by Chiefs batter Keith Castro who watches in the background. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

“Finally,” the only word that manager Mike Perez had about how he felt about this championship.

You couldn’t ask for more out of a championship game. After breaking two ties, the Chalan Pago Amigos defeated the Agana Heights King Car Chiefs 5-4 in a nerve-racking game Friday night at the Okkodo field. After nine innings of play, the Amigos came out the victors in game three of the best of three championship series in the Guam Amateur Baseball Latte Spring League.

Tied 2-2 at the bottom of the sixth, Broad Santos hit straight into Chiefs pitcher, Gerry Paulino, hitting an RBI single to bring in Aliton Mesgnon. To take the 4-2 lead, Pete Castro Jr. hit into the left gap, just out of diving distance of Chiefs left fielder Keith Castro, and brought in Santos for an RBI double.

The regulation seven innings put the Chiefs at their last chance at bat at the top of the seventh. The Amigos immediately had two outs on the Chiefs and would have had their third had it not been for the blue. With the count at two balls and two strikes, Amigos pitcher Peter Quintanilla delivered a pitch and the umpire raised his hand as if to call a strike that would’ve ended the game, however he called a ball on the throw instead of a strike.

Chiefs Gerry Paulino had yet another impressive performance as he pitched 10 strikeouts in the loss. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Down 4-2 and already tallying two outs, nerves on the Chiefs sides were rattling and adrenaline was pumping. Not ready to give up just yet, Michael Blas had his team cheering after he hit an RBI triple deep into right field to bring in Paul Untalan and putting the Chiefs within one run of the Amigos. The next batter up, Ray Terlaje, brought Blas home on an RBI single to tie the ball game once again.

The game was deadlocked in a 4-4 tie from the top of the seventh to the bottom of the ninth, as each team played stingy defense throughout. Going into two extra innings, tensions amounted further into the night.

“There was a lot of tension, from the first pitch to the last pitch. Both teams felt that way because nobody wanted to be the one to make the mistake, where the other team could capitalize on it,” said Perez.

In the bottom of the ninth, Amigos’ Ryan Castro ended the game, running home off an error on the Chiefs short stop.

“I tip my hat off to the Chiefs, they played a good, hard game, and a good hard series. Its just unfortunate that only one team had to win, and it was just us!”

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