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ORIOLES TAKE GAME 1 OF CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

The AM Insurance Orioles opened up the Championship Series with a big win over the young Paradise Fitness Jr. Nationals in the final series of the BBL season.

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By Mike Nauta Jr.

Tuesday night marked the championship series opener in the Budweiser Baseball League at the Paseo Stadium in Hagatna. After winning their respective semifinal matches, both the AM Insurance Orioles and Guam Paradise Fitness Junior Nationals went to battle in game one of their best-of-seven series.

At the end of last night’s game, it was the Orioles who garnered a victory after defeating their opponents 10-3.

Early in the game, the Orioles set the tempo quickly as they retired the Nationals side facing only four batters. In the bottom half of the inning, AM Insurance went to work offensively and managed to post the game’s first run. With a runner on base, JR Hattig stroked a hard single that drove in teammate Jathan Muna Barnes.

While the Junior Nationals continued to have some difficulty offensively, the Orioles added another run in the bottom of the third inning. With a runners on the base path, a single by Florencio Binuya drove in a teammate giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead. In the top of the fourth, the Nationals showed some sign of life as they ended their scoring drought.

After a single by Shane Muna, the Nats’ Lorenzo Flores eventually brought home his teammate with a single to left field.

AM Insurance responded in their half of the fourth and regained their two run lead when a Hattig base hit drove in Shon Muna Jr.. Later in the sixth, the Orioles broke the game open and eventually built an 8-1 lead after mustering five runs. Binuya and teammate Michael Aguon combined for three RBIs in the rally.

Despite being able to score a run in the top of the seventh, the Junior Nationals still found themselves in a deep deficit after their opponents responded with two of their own in the bottom half. After seven complete innings, the Orioles led the game 10-2.

After a scoreless eighth inning, the Junior Nationals had one last shot for a comeback in the top of the ninth. Needing to push eight runs across home plate, the Nats went to work. However, a tough Orioles defense refused to take any chances and retired the Junior Nationals side giving only one run before recording the final out of the game.

Orioles DH Jr. Hattig hits a shot down the line for a RBI Single. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Orioles DH Jr. Hattig hits a shot down the line for a RBI Single. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Shon Muna Jr. and Hattig led the Orioles offense going a combined 7-for-8 with two RBIs and four runs scored. Teammate Binuya recorded three RBIs. In the losing effort, the Nationals’ Shane Muna went 4-for-4 with two RBIs. The Orioles’ RJ Joe pitched a complete game with two strikeouts for the win from the mound. The Nats’ Eddie Garza was dealt the loss.

With the victory, the Orioles take a 1-0 lead in the series. Budweiser Baseball League Championship Series action resumes with game two on Friday at 7pm at the Paseo Stadium. Games three and four are scheduled for Sunday and Tuesday respectively.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Orioles Shon Muna Jr. finds the hole on the left side for a single. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Orioles Shon Muna Jr. finds the hole on the left side for a single. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Jr. Nationals First Base TJ Leon Guerrero makes a nice dig to get the out at first to end the inning. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Jr. Nationals First Base TJ Leon Guerrero makes a nice dig to get the out at first to end the inning. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Jr. Nationals Shane Muna crosses the plate to put them on board. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Jr. Nationals Shane Muna crosses the plate to put them on board. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Orioles Game 1 Starter R-Jay Joe delivers a pitch against Jr. Nationals. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Orioles Game 1 Starter R-Jay Joe delivers a pitch against Jr. Nationals. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Jr. Nationals Bill Quenga makes contact with the ball for a single up the middle. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Jr. Nationals Bill Quenga makes contact with the ball for a single up the middle. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Orioles 3rd baseman makes a nice play and throws the runner out at first to end the inning. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Orioles 3rd baseman makes a nice play and throws the runner out at first to end the inning. (Photo by Joey Blas)

 

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Since forming the GNYFF in 2009, the league has never gone without a season until 2020. The league announced their plans to cancel the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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ALL SPORTING EVENTS HALTED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS ISSUE

QUICK HITS

RIP: Former Guam football player Phil Mendiola, shown here with son Tano, passed away in Las Vegas due to a heart attack. Mendiola played for numerous Guam teams from youth to varsity. He was 39.
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Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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