Earlier today, the DLSU Green Batters notched their fifth win of the tournament at the expense of the NU Bulldogs, 8-4, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium. With the win, the Green-and-White improved to a 5-2 win-loss record, placing them at solo second.
Team captain Ignacio Escaño led the team’s charge as he went 4-5 at bat and recorded four runs batted in (RBIs). The ace Luis Miñana also helped the cause as he held NU scoreless for six innings.
DLSU set the tone early on in the match as the leadoff hitter Paolo Salud got to first off an infield single, and then stole second. With Salud safely at second base, Escaño blasted one over the left field wall for a two-run home run.
The next three innings were uneventful for both sides as neither team was able to convert a run. However, the fifth inning saw the Green Batters extend their lead as they started to take advantage of a jaded Mark Carolino, who was eventually replaced by Clairon Santos before the end of the inning. Rosas led off the inning with a bloop single to left. He then reached second base as Salud laid down a sac bunt. With the runner in scoring position, Diego Lozano sent one to deep left for an RBI double. The hot streak did not end there as Escaño followed up with an RBI double of his own to end the inning with La Salle up 4-0.
In the sixth inning, the Green Batters scored three more runs, courtesy of errors by the Bulldogs. With Bill Evangelista and Angelo Tantuico on second and first, respectively, Tuwi Park laid down a perfect bunt. However, the Bulldogs were unable to get the force out on first as a throwing error allowed both Evangelista and Tantuico to cross the plate. With Park at third, a passed ball allowed him to score another run for the Green-and-White to take a seven to nothing lead.
For La Salle, rookie pitcher Joshua Pineda made his debut as he relieved Miñana to start off the seventh inning. Despite being down by seven runs, the Bulldogs did not let up. With the bases loaded, Greg Andres’ single allowed Ron Salaysay to cross the plate. This was followed by a wild pitch that allowed Aeron Limon to score another run for the Bulldogs. The other rookie, Marthy Rañada, relieved Pineda, but was afflicted with the same fate as NU scored two more runs, cutting DLSU’s lead to three, 7-4. With the Bulldogs coming close to leveling to contest, Boo Barandiaran took over the mound to hold them scoreless in the succeeding innings.
La Salle’s last offensive act saw Barandiaran send a ball deep into right center field for a double. With the runner in scoring position, Escaño hit a hot grounder up the middle for an RBI single.
In the final frame of the match, Barandiaran quickly ended the game as a 1-2-3 inning allowed the Green Batters to tally another win.
After the game, head coach Joseph Orillana talked about the adjustments that have to be made heading into their next game. “More on hitting parin kasi marami kaming left on base and at the same time, yung mental toughness nila kasi yung pitchers naman nandoon yung contribution nila. ‘Yun nga lang yung paluan, minsan napuputol madaming runners on base na nasasayang,” he shared.
The Green Batters will resume action on Wednesday, March 13, at 1 pm, against the UST Growling Tigers at the same venue.