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UAAP: Ateneo sweeps Green Batters to clinch third consecutive title

The DLSU Green Batters lost Game Two of the UAAP Season 77 Baseball Finals to the ADMU Blue Eagles, 3-2, last March 12 at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium, making Ateneo the UAAP baseball champions for the third straight season.

The Green Batters were first on the board. With runners on second and third and two outs in the first inning, Gabriel Pineda hit a groundball to the shortstop. Confusion occurred in the infield, allowing Boo Barandiaran to score.

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However, they were able to tag Carlos Muñoz out between second and third base to end the inning. DLSU also scored another run in the second inning with two outs, as Franco Hashimoto beat out a throw to first base to allow Pochollo Dominguez to score.

In the bottom of the third inning, Ateneo had Adriane Bernardo at second with two outs. Matt Laurel hit a single, driving home Bernardo to put ADMU on the board, 2-1. Laurel, however, was thrown out at second to end the inning. Runners at second and third for the Blue Eagles in the bottom of the sixth inning turned into trouble for La Salle. An overthrow to the catcher at home allowed Ateneo to score two runs.

Both teams failed to score in the seventh and eighth innings. Fifth year player Dino Imperial, who left game one after an injury, was hit by a pitch to lead off the ninth inning. Renzo Yulo came in to pinch run for Imperial and reached second after a sacrifice bunt by Hashimoto. The next hitter, Paolo Salud, hit a grounder to reach first base, but Yulo was called out as he slid to third in a closely contested call.

On his last year, team captain Carlos Laurel fittingly had one last chance to extend the game, but eventually grounded out, ending the game.

“Nanghihinayang din kasi alam namin kaya namin pero I know naman yung boys ko lumaban naman. Binigay naman nila yung best nila. So proud pa rin ako sa lahat kahit papaano,” said DLSU coach Joseph Orillana, who gave his thoughts about the game.

“I think it’s bittersweet,” Laurel shared. “Cause you know, everyone we played against Ateneo, we know them. We wouldn’t want them to lose. But then again, we wouldn’t want ourselves to lose. So I’m happy they won, sad we lost,” he explained.

After the game, the UAAP Season 77 Baseball awards were handed out. Imperial tied Blue Batter Matt Laurel for the most RBIs on the season with 13. Rookie Vicente Barandiaran was awarded the Rookie of the Year and the season’s Best Pitcher with an ERA of 1.994.

After the awarding, players on their last year from both teams ran the bases as their annual closing ceremony. Green Batters Kenneth Ramos, Luigi Nolasco, Dino Imperial, and team captain Carlos Laurel sall played their last game in the UAAP.

“It seems like the future’s bright for this team. The rookies coming in next year, rookies we have this year. We’re only losing three, four players now. Yeah, I feel bad… I feel happy,” said Laurel about the future of the team.

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