The Orix Buffaloes’ long-suffering fans were not in the building when the team completed its worst-to-first climb by winning the Pacific League pennant in 2021. When the Buffaloes won again in 2022, the team clinched the title on the road.

So when the Buffaloes’ magic number dropped to two on Tuesday, fans snapped up tickets for Wednesday’s game in droves. They packed Kyocera Dome Osaka — the game was a sellout — in hopes of finally seeing a clinching victory with their own eyes.

That wish came true when reliever Soichiro Yamazaki set off the celebrations by striking out the Chiba Lotte Marines’ Michael Brosseau to close out a 6-2 win that gave the Buffaloes their third straight PL pennant.