While the DLSU Green Batters won both of their match-ups versus the AdU Soaring Falcons in the elimination rounds, it was Adamson that drew first blood in the Finals, winning Game 1 via mercy rule, 14-4, earlier today at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Diamond.
Though the Soaring Falcons have not been to the Finals since Season 72, it was them that played with the poise and swagger of a team with championship experience. On the other side, it was a tale of mishaps as seven errors proved to be too much for the first-seeded La Salle to overcome.
Jerome Yenson led the Adamson attack with his contributions from both the plate and from the mound. The senior stymied DLSU as he pitched six innings, striking out four, while also having three hits and three runs batted in.
Early on, the Falcons were the aggressors—scoring four runs in the first inning, with two La Salle errors aiding in the offensive attack. AdU would then add another run in the second inning.
In the bottom half of the inning, it looked as if La Salle was primed for a comeback. After an Anton Acuña grounder brought home the team’s first run, Paolo Salud’s RBI-triple cut the Adamson lead to 5-3.
Unfazed, however, the team in navy blue continued to take advantage of DLSU’s errors and wild pitches, ballooning their lead to 10-3 in the fourth inning.
The Green Batters, though, would subsequently have their best chance to cut into the lead in the bottom half of the frame. Even with two outs, Salud, Diego Lozano, and Ignacio Escaño were able to load the bases for Kiko Gesmundo. Though it was the Marist-graduate’s first at-bat of the game, he sent a blast to left field that missed the bleachers by just a couple of feet.
That moment proved to be the turning point of the game, as La Salle’s offense remained dormant, while AdU kept its foot on the gas pedal, pushing their lead to 14-3. DLSU would add on another run but it would not be enough to prevent the mercy rule victory.
In the game, some bright spots for DLSU were the continued production of the top of its order and the performances of some of its rookies. Notably, Julio Arrastia was able to come in and stop the Adamson onslaught, as he pitched three stellar innings, along with reaching base in his final plate appearance.
La Salle will look to force a do-or-die Game 3 as it resumes action on Friday, 12 nn, for Game 2 at the same venue.