The Padres dominated the Braves, 8-2, in the long-delayed winner-take-all finale of the 2nd Annual DYS/Triple A Youth Baseball League.
The one-game finals was originally set for Oct. 18, but due to the inclement it was only played last Thursday at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield with the Padres capitalizing on the sluggish and erratic Braves to coast to the title win.
Jared Sablan started for the Padres and nearly threw a no-hitter in 2.2 innings pitched. He allowed only one hit, walked two and struck out three, while denying the Braves a single run. The Padres used three more pitchers in the last five innings and though Mike Muna, Leroy Regis, and Quinson Blas gave up two runs and allowed five hits, they stranded six runners to keep their team’s safe distance.
A.J. Lizama threw from the mound for the Braves in the first two innings and he too did a good job, allowing no hit and run. He struck out one batter and the rest of the Braves defense held the Padres without a run in the first two innings before the eventual runners-up began committing errors at the bottom of the third inning.
The Padres scored two runs off those miscues with Regis reaching home off an error at second base and Muna also making it home off a mistake from catcher Frankie Lieto. Khobby Kaipat put the Padres in the board in the third inning when he advanced to first off a shortstop error, stole second, marched to third off another booboo at second base, and reached home off Blas’ sacrifice fly. Logan Martin pitched for the Braves at the start of the third and gave up two hits and two stolen bases.
Facing a 0-3 deficit, the Braves finally lit up the scoreboard at the top of the fourth with Frankie Lieto reaching off an error and they had a chance to score more with runners on first and second, but Muna got the third out, striking out Zack Lieto.
At the bottom of the fourth, the Braves tapped A.J. Evangelista to take the mound, but he gave up three hits and two earned runs in his early shift and he struggled anew in the fifth, allowing two more hits and two runs before Kody Kaipat relieved him midway in the fifth. Lancaster Secharmidal, Blas, and Khobby Kaipat had RBI singles each against Evangelista, who allowed one more run off a passed ball and the Braves got the two other runs off errors on first and second base for an 8-1 advantage.
The Braves made it a 6-run deficit, 2-8, as Frankie Lieto doubled at the top of the sixth, stole second and third, and reached home off a Padres error. The Braves had only one out when Lieto scored and again had opportunities to gain more runs, but failed to cash in. K.J. Kalen was tagged out by Padres catcher Verlance Secharmidal for the second out. J.J. Lifoifoi was next at bat, singled, and stole second but was eventually beaten to third.
Two strikeouts and one ground out quickly ended the bottom of the sixth inning for the Padres and gave the Braves room to make one final push, but the latter also had a fast top of the seventh inning. Evangelista led off the Braves, but returned to the dugout on a 5-3 putout play and Regis went on clinch the win for the Padres with 1-3 putout plays against the next two batters.
With the finals win, the Padres brought home two championship trophies, as they also nailed the pennant after finishing the regular season with a 10-2 record and beating the Braves in the tiebreak. The Padres defeated the Braves twice in the regular season and completed the sweep with their 13-2 win in the semis and victory in last week’s finals.