Entering today alone at the top of the standings, the DLSU Green Batters will now have to share the tournament’s top spot after falling to the ADMU Blue Eagles, 9-6, earlier today at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Field. La Salle now owns a 3-1 win-loss record, with one game remaining in the first round.
The Green Batters were able to score off of Blue Eagle starter Paulo Macasaet, but defensive miscues ended up haunting the team down the stretch as the hole they dug themselves into was just too deep.
To start the game, Ateneo immediately scored two runs to set the tone of the match-up. Anton Acuña, however, would hit an RBI double to cut the Green Batter deficit in half, 2-1.
While ADMU tacked on another run in the fourth inning, it was the fifth inning that ultimately doomed DLSU.
The inning started innocently with Radito Banzon beating out a grounder to make it to first base safely. Marco Mallari would then fail to bunt him over, after starter Kiko Gesmundo made a successful play to get Banzon out at second, but the junior then took advantage of the La Salle defense as he subsequently stole second and third base.
After Javi Macasaet drove him in, Ryan Hilario and Marquis Alindongan got on base to load the bases for Dino Altomonte. The catcher then hit a playable grounder to the DLSU shortstop but he ended up making a bad throw that allowed two more runs to cross the plate. After a slight delay, due to a protest by Ateneo regarding Green Batter substitutions, one more run scored to end the top of the inning, 8-1, in favor of ADMU.
DLSU, though, would not stop fighting as it answered back in the bottom half of the fifth. With a run already in, rookie Enzo Amado hit a groundball that the Ateneo defense could not handle, and let two more Green Batters make it home.
The Green-and-White would score two more runs in the seventh inning to cut the lead to 8-6, but the team was unable to get over the hump. One more Ateneo run in the ninth sealed the win for last year’s champions.
La Salle will end the first round with a game on Sunday, against UP, at the same venue.