Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

September 1, 2009

Grand finale

Burlington edges Bluefield

BLUEFIELD — The 52nd season of baseball for the Bluefield Orioles in the Appalachian League has come to an end.

It also marked the last game in the managerial debut of Bluefield manager Einar Diaz, whose Orioles finished in third place in the East Division with a 33-35 record.

“I liked it, I like it here, and we’ll see what happens next year,” Diaz said. “This is a good league to be in, but we’ll see where I will be next year.”

Bluefield committed four errors in the four-run sixth inning for Burlington, and the Royals withstood a late rally to finish the season with an 8-7 win over the Orioles in front of 1,104 fans at Bowen Field.

Edinho Meyer clubbed a three-run home run in the seventh and Jose Kianes added a two-run shot in the ninth to close an 8-1 deficit, but fell a run short when Deybi De La Cruz retired the final three batters to end the game, and the season for both teams.

Burlington finished with a league-worst 24-44 mark.

Diaz had the Orioles in position to challenge the Danville Braves for first place just a few weeks ago, but Bluefield went just 3-10 since Aug. 21.

“The season went well until the last two weeks,” Diaz said. “We were playing a little bit over .500 and we lost six games in a row and that’s not good.

“We looked tired, you could tell today with four errors right away, but you can’t win like that. They came back in the end, but it was too late. I think they did good, but they just got tired at the end with this being their last game.”

Bluefield starter Matt Hobgood (1-2), Baltimore's first round draft choice in June, took the loss, allowing a run and five hits in five innings on the mound. Bluefield College product Brandon Holloway took his place, allowing seven runs in 1 2/3 innings, although just three of those were earned. Ryan Palsha pitched the final two innings for the Orioles.

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