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08/18/2007 10:48 PM ET
Despite defeat, D-Braves clinch division title
Secure playoff spot following loss by second-place Burlington
Saturday's loss was Jose Ortegano's first in 12 appearances, including eight starts, this season. (Bill Setliff)


The Danville Braves clinched the Appalachian League East Division title Saturday, despite dropping a 9-0 decision to the Princeton Devil Rays.

Nick Barnese (2-2) and Kyle Ayers combined on a seven-hitter and Jeff Carroll drove in three runs for the Devil Rays (24-31), but the result hardly mattered as the Braves (41-16) secured a playoff spot when second-place Burlington lost to Bluefield, 5-4.

The reigning Appalachian League champions put together a 28-6 stretch from July 13-Aug. 16 to take control of the division race.

Barnese (2-2) allowed four hits, struck out six and did not walk a batter in six innings. Ayers gave up three hits and fanned two over the final three frames.

Carroll ripped an RBI single in the first and drilled a two-run double in a six-run sixth for Princeton. Ben Humphrey and Mark Thomas hit two-run homers in the sixth.

Danville's Jose Ortegano (5-1) surrendered three runs on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts in five innings and suffered his first loss in eight starts.

Eliazar Carmona singled twice for the Braves, but Adam Coe went 0-for-4 to snap his 13-game hit streak.

Danny Wild is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.