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BBL: ORIOLES END BRAVES DYNASTY

Fans of the Budweiser Baseball League had witnessed the end of a dynasty Thursday night as the AM Insurance Orioles defeated the IT&E Braves in the final game of the semifinal five-game series.

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By Robert Balajadia

Fans of the Budweiser Baseball League had witnessed the end of a dynasty Thursday night as the AM Insurance Orioles defeated the IT&E Braves 7-5 in the final game of the semifinal series.

The Braves had done something no team had been able to do all 2014 season which was defeat the Orioles pushing them to the brink of elimination in Game 5 of the series. Though, the Orioles did something no team has been able to do in five years which was knock the Braves out of the playoffs ending the five-straight titles the Braves’ had won from 2008-2013.

Guahan Solider Co-Player of the Game Orioles' Miller Santos

Guahan Soldier Co-Player of the Game: Orioles’ Miller Santos

The Orioles had a terrific start to the game after Miller Santos slammed a two-run homer in the first inning and a nail-biting finish with Florencio Binuya closing out the Braves in the final three innings.

Binuya was staring down a difficult situation entering the game in the top of the 7th inning after Braves BJ Balajadia knocked a double on pitcher Shane McDonald, forcing coach Kin Fernandez to call Binuya’s number. Binuya then struck out dangerous batters Jim Reyes and Rico Castro to end the 7th inning still holding on to a 5-4 lead that carried into the 8th inning.

Binuya gave up a lead-off double to Pete Guerrero in the 8th which appeared to spark the Braves. Binuya shook off the hit and proceeded to strike out the Braves next three batters in Carl Quintanilla, Jared Palomo and JT Tuquero to close out the 8th inning where Binuya was celebrated within the team huddle.

“It really helped,” said Binuya on his team celebrating his play. “Some of these guys didn’t even play and they still helped by cheering me on. That’s all I needed was their help.”

Binuya had the games final say striking out the Braves’ last batter John Sarmiento in the top of the 9th inning to officially put an end to the game.

The Braves had a window to tie the game up after Balajadia and Reyes were walked in the top of the 9th inning with Castro coming up to bat. Castro hit a pop fly which was dropped by Orioles outfielder which allowed Balajadia to score a run to cut the lead 7-5 before Sarmiento was struck out.

The Orioles had given up one run in the opening inning, but Santos smashed the home run to give the Orioles the lead they would be able to hang on to throughout the game.

Guahan Soldier Co-player of the Game Orioles Relief Pitcher Florencio Binona loads up and delivers a pitch to end the game and picks up the save. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Guahan Soldier Co-player of the Game Orioles Relief Pitcher: Florencio Binuya loads up and delivers a pitch to end the game and picks up the save. (Photo by Joey Blas)

“Having that early lead settled the nerves. We could feel the inexperience start to settle in and we were all feeling the ‘butterflies’, but the key to keeping them at bay was the pitching, which was fantastic. The defense behind them were not having any mental lapses and making the right plays,” said Fernandez on the teams ability to hang on to the lead.

Santos would get a lead-off double in the bottom of the 4th inning, but was injured on his slide home a batter later forcing him to sit out the rest of the night.

The Braves had trouble bringing in runs despite being able to get on base every inning.

Braves’ starting pitcher Tony Yatar pitched the entire game and takes the Game 5 loss. Orioles starting pitcher Eric Cepeda gets the win while Binuya gets the save.

The Orioles tacked on more runs in the bottom of the 8th inning after a sac-fly from RJ Joe and an RBI double for Jathan Muna-Barnes which gave his squad the three-run lead heading into the final inning.

Orioles celebrate beating the 5-time champion Braves to move on to the championship series. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Orioles celebrate beating the 5-time champion Braves to move on to the championship series. (Photo by Joey Blas)

With the Orioles wrapping up their semifinals, the BBL Championship Series is still awaiting the finish of the Paradise Fitness Jr. Nationals and Bank of Guam A’s with the Jr. Nat’s leading 2-0 in the best of five series.

Game 3 will be played on Friday.

Despite not knowing their opponent, Fernandez is confident his team will be able to perform at a high level in their run at the 2014 title.

“It’s a new season now and we’re going to have a different approach. We’re going to enjoy this win and then we’ll see who we play and just take it one game at a time.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Game 5 Orioles Starting Pitcher Eric Cepeda delivers a pitch against the Braves. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Game 5: Orioles’ Starting Pitcher Eric Cepeda delivers a pitch against the Braves. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Braves Center fielder BJ Balajada hits a ball to left center for the standup double. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Braves’ centerfielder BJ Balajada hits a ball to left center for the standup double. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Game 5 Braves Starting Pitcher Tony Yatar delivers a pitch against the Orioles. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Game 5 Braves’ starting pitcher Tony Yatar delivers a pitch against the Orioles. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Orioles Right Fielder Miller Santos hits a towering homerun to Right Field. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Orioles rightfielder Miller Santos hits a towering homerun to right field. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Orioles Second Baseman Jathen Barnes makes a nice catch in foul territory for the third out. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Orioles second baseman Jathan Muna-Barnes makes a nice catch in foul territory for the third out. (Photo by Joey Blas)

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