In a rematch of last year’s finals, the DLSU Green Batters were unable to figure out their counterparts as they were defeated by the ADMU Blue Eagles, 13-6, yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Diamond. Pitching proved to be the team’s biggest problem, as ADMU’s offense was locked in from the very first pitch.
Tuwi Park led DLSU with three RBIs, with Pao Salud and Franco Hashimoto each adding an RBI as well. Starting pitcher Boo Barandiaran, however, was only able to go two-plus innings after giving up six runs, before leaving the bases loaded in the third inning.
Hitting from the clean-up spot, Ryan Hilario stepped up for ADMU, producing a three-run home run and an RBI double. Along with him, the Blue Eagles were getting contributions from up and down the line-up as everyone was hitting the ball well. As for the pitching, Paulo Macasaet and Miggy Angeles combined to hold down the DLSU offense, as they were able to use a variety of pitches to keep the team from Taft in check.
Blue Eagle explosion
Right off the bat, DLSU found itself trailing mainly because of the high-powered ADMU offense. After Marco Mallari and Javi Macasaet were able to safely get on base, Hilario hit a towering three-run home run to immediately put ADMU in front. Later in the inning, first baseman Gino Tantuico would hit an RBI double to score two more runs for the team from Katipunan. Following another run scoring hit by Marquis Alindongan, La Salle would see itself trailing by six before even getting at-bat.
With the bases loaded at the top of the third inning, the Green Batters would make a pitching change, replacing Barandiaran with Arvin Herrera. The sophomore, though, would subsequently hit the next two batters, allowing ADMU to extend its lead to 8-0. A sacrifice fly and an RBI groundout later in the inning, would give the Blue Eagles a comfortable 10-0 lead over DLSU.
La Salle comeback falls short
The Green Batters would not go down easily, however, scoring three runs at the bottom of the third inning. Even as an infraction was called against them in the third inning which sent hard-hitting Ignacio Escaño out of the game, the Green-and-White seemed unfazed, as back-to-back singles by Salud and Cabiling sent three runners home to put them in the scoreboard.
After Herrera delivered consecutive shutout innings in the fourth and fifth, the DLSU batting order followed suite, with a Park single pulling them within 10-5. Another run in the sixth inning made it even more possible, cutting the lead to just four with three innings remaining.
With a La Salle comeback looming, the ADMU bullpen retired P. Macasaet in place of Angeles at the bottom of the sixth inning. From there, the Blue Eagles were able to keep La Salle quiet as the teams traded scoreless innings. By the eighth inning, ADMU iced the game, bringing in two more runs, courtesy of at bats by Mallari and Hilario. With the lead then at 13-6, the defending champions just didn’t have anything left. The Blue Eagles would score the final point of the game in the final inning, while leaving the Green Batters scoreless to seal the victory.
With the loss, La Salle is now tied for second in the standings with the AdU Soaring Falcons after the first round of games, sporting identical 3-2 win-loss records. Meanwhile, ADMU’s win places the Blue Eagles in solo first place at 4-1. The second round of the eliminations will resume on February 25, Saturday, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Diamond, with the first round rankings determining the schedule of play between the teams. As of press time the schedule of games has yet to be released.