The DLSU Green Batters were handed their first loss of the season as they were upset by the AdU Soaring Falcons, 6-3, last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Diamond. Erratic and error-prone field play proved to be the weakest link for La Salle, as it committed six errors, three of which came in the pivotal ninth inning.
Les Cabiling was the lone bright spot for DLSU, going 3-4 at bats to lead the Green-and-White. Meanwhile, AdU shortstop Bryan Castillo was the anchor for the Soaring Falcon defense, putting away DLSU’s ground balls to complement pitcher Jerome Yenson in the critical stretches of the game.
After starting pitcher Alvin Herrera closed the top of the first inning, the Green Batters took an early 1-0 lead in their opening at bat, courtesy of an Ignacio Escaño RBI (runs batted in) single to right field, bringing home Paolo Salud. However, DLSU’s momentum was cut short. The AdU defense came up with tags on Diego Lozano and Cabiling when running to home plate to end the inning.
By the second inning, despite two early outs, the Soaring Falcons found a way to score two runs after Herrera surrendered two walks, with AdU’s Jayson Benito and Chaplick Fernandez reaching home plate. Yenson would then hold off La Salle’s offense as Salud’s flyball was caught in the outfield.
Both teams went on a scoring drought in the succeeding innings, with AdU clinging to a precarious 2-1 lead. By the top of the fifth, DLSU head coach Joseph Orilliana opted to retire Herrera in place of Boo Barandiaran. However, upon the pitching change, the Soaring Falcons were able to score off a miscue on second base by the Green-and-White which sent Jason Salamida home to take a 3-1 lead.
The woes for DLSU would continue from there, as it was unable to get on base in the sixth and seventh innings due to the stellar AdU defense brought about by Yenson and Castillo. It was only in the eighth inning where the Green Batters would breath life, as they scored two key runs to tie the game, with key RBIs by Barandiaran and Cabiling to put pressure on AdU. With the game tied and the bases loaded with two outs, the Soaring Falcons made a pitching change to stop the bleeding.
The final inning would eventually go in AdU’s favor, even as DLSU brought in Lozano to relieve Barandiaran, bringing in three runs to clinch the game. La Salle’s costly mental lapses on field play down the stretch was the main catalyst for the collapse.
The Green Batters will look to bounce back in their next game as they face the NU Bulldogs on Wednesday, February 15, at 7 am in the same venue.