Blagoevgrad Buffaloes managed to get out of Devil’s mortal threat and once again leaved no chance for any sensation in Bulgarian baseball. Guided by the playing manager Yassen Nedelchev the Buffaloes rallied for five runs including a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning against Dupnitza Devils and won 5-1 the decisive Game 5 in the best-of-five final series of the National Championships.
That was the sixth consecutive and 17th altogether title in Blagoevgrad’s 18 years of baseball life. The only time the “Bisons” lost the crown was back in 2004 when they lost the finals in five games to Dupnitza. And it was again the Devils themselves who were the last survivors in the race with the Powerhouse this year. They would have reached their second championship if it was not for that one inning that changed everything.
Dupnitza scored a run in the top of the fourth and their starter Martin Velinov (L 2-1) turned off the lights for seven one-man-show-innings. But the right-hander was responsible for a single, a sac bunt and two back-to-back walks in the eighth before giving a home run on bases loaded to Teodor Dimitrov. Dimitrov (W 2-0) added to his heroics by closing the game from the mound with two innings of scoreless relief.
It took nearly a month for the Buffaloes and the Devils to decide their argument. The final series began back on the weekend of October 2nd-3rd when both teams gained a victory on Porter Field in Blagoevgrad. Dupnitza took advantage 9-7 in Game 1, but the champions bounced back 10-2 in Game 2. It was like a déjà vu a week later on Levski Field in Dupnitza where the Buffaloes crushed 9-0 in Game 3 and the Devils got even with 5-4 in Game 4.
The ultimate game of the finals was supposed to take place on October 16th, but because of the week-long rainy forecast in Blagoevgrad it was delayed by another seven days and was played last Saturday, October 23rd.
2010 BULGARIAN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
October 2nd, Game 1
BLAGOEVGRAD – DUPNITZA 7-9
W: Martin Velinov (1-0); L: Yassen Nedelchev (0-1)
October 3rd, Game 2
BLAGOEVGRAD – DUPNITZA 10-2
W: Teodor Dimitrov (1-0); L: Petyo Petkov (0-1)
October 9th, Game 3
DUPNITZA – BLAGOEVGRAD 0-9
W: Ivan Angelov (1-0); L: Petyo Petkov (0-2)
October 10th, Game 4
DUPNITZA – BLAGOEVGRAD 5-4
W: Martin Velinov (2-0); L: Martin Andonov (0-1)
October 23rd, Game 5
BLAGOEVGRAD – DUPNITZA 5-1
W: Teodor Dimitrov (2-0); L: Martin Velinov (2-1)
2010 FINAL STANDINGS
1. Blagoevgrad Buffaloes
2. Dupnitza Devils
3. Sofia Blues
4. Sofia Athletic
5. Sofia Academics
6. Sofia Yunak
7. Sofia Lions