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BRAVES PERFECT HALFWAY THRU

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By Patrick Lujan

Braves Jared Palomo lays down a perfect bunt in the fourth inning to load the bases, which would lead to three runs. (photo by Jose Perez)

Braves Jared Palomo lays down a perfect bunt in the fourth inning to load the bases, which would lead to three runs. Jr Hattig did the catching for Smokey’s, the first time he’s ever played that position in a game. (photo by Jose Perez)

The Moylan’s/OCD Braves are so stacked, their roster could easily sport the two best teams in the Budweiser Baseball League.

The Braves continued their dominance Thursday night with a huge 18-8 win over The Venue Smokey’s in eight innings, cruising to the midway point of the season at 7-0 with little challenge so far.

It is the most runs scored for the Braves, who are averaging 11.9 runs a game so far. The closest a team came to beating them have been the Jr. Nationals who lost 5-2 in the Braves third game.

“With the firepower that we have, we produce,” said veteran pitcher Tony Yatar, who was making his first start of the season. “Hopefully, everyone stays hot.”

That’s a likely probability as the Braves offense has been as hot as the Guam weather lately.

The Braves broke open a close 4-3 game in the bottom of the fourth with four runs, but three of them came off of costly outfield errors by the Smokey’s.

Smokey's shortstop Laurence Idelbong leaps to complete the unassisted double play in the third inning. (photo by Jose Perez)

Smokey’s shortstop Laurence Idelbong leaps to complete the unassisted double play in the third inning. (photo by Jose Perez)

The Braves added three more runs in the fifth and then opened the floodgates with five runs in the sixth inning highlighted by a two-out, bases loaded triple by pinch hitter Ted Concepcion.

“We have a bunch of good seasoned ballplayers and young guys too that are good,” Yatar said about his talent-heavy team. “(Manager) Derrick (Santos) is making some good decisions. Everybody knows their role, everybody comes to practice and we work hard.”

Starters Glenn Fernandez and Carl Quintanilla had two hits apiece and Rico Castro drove in three runs before the bench continued the attack led by Pat Alvarez and JT Tuquero. Yes, Alvarez and Tuquero came off the bench, showing how deep the Braves are with talent.

Yatar, the Braves normal closer, picked up the win after going four innings, giving up five runs and striking out six.

He gave up a two-run homer to JR Hattig over the left-center field wall in the top of the fifth. It was Hattig’s first of the season.

“He hit a changeup that stayed up and he took it over,” Yatar said about the home run pitch.

The Smokey’s, who fall to 2-5, had a trio of hitters with two base hits each: RJ Miner, Laurence Idelbong and George Flores.

Starting pitcher Joey Taijeron left after the fourth inning trailing 8-5. Hattig played catcher for the first time ever in his baseball career.

JR Hattig connects off this Tony Yatar changeup for a two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning. (photo by Jose Perez)

JR Hattig connects off this Tony Yatar changeup for a two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning. (photo by Jose Perez)

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