SANTOS BEATS BRAVES WITH WALK OFF RBI

SANTOS BEATS BRAVES WITH WALK OFF RBI

📅23 May 2014
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By Robert Balajadia

The AM Insurance Orioles knew that their series against the five-time defending champion IT&E Braves was going to be a battle, but not even they could predict the kind of victory they pulled off in Game 1 of the best-of-five semifinal series.

The Orioles Miller Santos got a walk-off RBI to beat the Braves 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th inning during the Budweiser Baseball League’s first game of the 2014 playoffs.

Santos had runners in scoring position with two outs away before stepping to the plate. The Braves were on the verge of sending the game into extra innings, but Santos got a great hit off Braves relief pitcher Paul Lujan to bring home Jathan Muna-Barnes for the game-winning run.

The loss will be tough to swallow for the Braves after having the lead for majority of the game.

The O’s had a tough time finding their offensive rhythm until the bottom of the 7th inning after Braves starting pitcher Cliff Raphael made his exit. Raphael had Orioles lead hitter Shon Muna Jr. with two strikes, but ultimately lost him after hitting Muna Jr. with a full count. Braves manager Derrick Santos decided to make the switch to Lujan right after.

Lujan gave up a double to Orioles Derwin Aguon at his first series at the mound which sparked the 7th inning run.

Muna-Barnes then hit a great shot through right field which the Braves had trouble controlling. The error on the play allowed Muna Jr. to score the Orioles first run while advancing Aguon to third base.

Orioles JR Hattig then stepped to bat and it seemed the Braves’ plan was to walk Hattig. After throwing an intentional ball, the umpire called a balk on Lujan that allowed Aguon to score the game-tying run.

Braves manager Derrick Santos and catcher JQ Quintanilla tried to make a case for the play, but the call stood allowing the game to sit at two runs each.

Braves' Manager Derrick Santos and catcher JQ Quintanilla try to make a case on the balk. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Braves Manager Derrick Santos and catcher JQ Quintanilla try to make a case on a balk call that tied the game at 2-2. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The Braves and Orioles put on a great defensive 8th inning which set up the exciting final inning.

Braves Dominic Cruz had a great chance to cash in runs in the top of the 8th while having BJ Balajadia and Carl Quintanilla on base, but the O’s defense prevailed and set up the thrilling walk-off winner by Santos.

The Braves scored both their runs in the 2nd inning after Carl Quintanilla got an RBI single to bring home teammate TJ Sarmiento. An error on the throw to third base allowed JQ Quintanilla to score the games second run giving the Braves the momentum early.

A great defensive performance from the Braves allowed them to control the game before giving up two runs in the 7th inning to tie the game.

The Orioles and Braves Game 2 will be Tuesday May 27.

BBL Playoff action continues with the Paradise Fitness Jr. Nationals vs. the Bank of Guam A’s on Sunday May 25.

PHOTO GALLERY

Orioles' John Derek San Nicolas beats the throw to first base. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Orioles John Derek San Nicolas beats the throw to first base. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Braves' third baseman Dominic Cruz stumbles to the plate but was able to tag the Orioles' out. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Braves third baseman Dominic Cruz stumbles to the bag but was able to tag the Orioles out. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Third baseman Dominic Cruz lets the ball slip through his glove on the play. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Third baseman Dominic Cruz lets the ball slip through his glove on the play. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Orioles' Derwin Aguon scores the game-tying run off the balk. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Orioles Derwin Aguon scores the game-tying run off the balk. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The Braves infielders try to get a handle of the ball as the Orioles runner makes a push to first base. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The Braves infielders try to get a handle of the ball as the Orioles runner makes a push to first base. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Braves' relief pitcher Paul Lujan. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Braves’ relief pitcher Paul Lujan. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Braves' starting pitcher Cliff Rafael. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Braves’ starting pitcher Cliff Raphael. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Orioles starting pitcher John Pangelinan

Orioles starting pitcher John Pangelinan

Braves' Jared Palomo gets a base hit. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Braves’ Jared Palomo gets a base hit. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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