Braves beat Dodgers to grand final spot

The Churchill Braves will take on the Traralgon Braves in the Latrobe Valley Baseball Association grand final after defeating Moe-Newborough Dodgers in Sunday’s semi-final.

The Braves clinched the game 9-7 on the back of an eight run effort in the fifth inning.

The two sides squared off at Sale’s Stephensons Park, with Floyd Haines taking the mound for the Braves.

Nathan Simpson was selected as the Dodger starter.

.  A pitching duel began as both teams struggled to get runners on in the first three inning.

The Braves Gregg Duncan managed to get to second in the 4th inning, was moved to third by Cameron Cooen and brought home on a Shane Gill single to left-field to open the Braves’ account.

Haines then continued his good work shutting the Dodgers down and strengthening his teams grip on the win.

A lead-off double and forced error from lead-off Mitchell John sparked Churchill’s massive eight run inning in the fifth to put the Braves in front, 9-0.

The Dodgers refused to give up and scored their first two runs of the game in the bottom of the fifth and another then another three in the seventh.

Churchill then made a pitching change from Haines to Mat Prior.

Prior walked in a run before getting out of the inning with a 9-6 lead. 

The Dodgers scored again in the eighth to leave them only two runs behind their opponents.

Simpson held strong for the Dodgers and shut the Braves out in the final inning to give his side hope but Prior closed out the ninh, giving his team the win.

Gregg Duncan was hot at the plate for the Braves, picking up three from five, he drove in one and scored twice for the game.