UAAP: Green Batters crush Blue Eagles in opening game of three-peat bid, 9-3

The DLSU Green Batters started their quest for a third consecutive title in UAAP by cruising to victory, 9-3,  in their opening match against rivals ADMU Blue Eagles after leaning on a three-run fifth inning to take the lead, and another three-run period in the seventh to increase their dominant advantage earlier today, February 25, at the UP Diliman Baseball Field.

On the pitching side, Season 85 Finals MVP Joshua Pineda pitched 6 ⅔ innings with eight strikeouts, only allowing three hits and two earned runs, while his teammate, Lord Aragorn de Vera, took the mound for the rest of the game—giving up just one run.

In terms of hitting, JM Segui had two hits from four at-bats while Joseph Alcontin came up with a huge two-RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to give DLSU an advantage they never relinquished.

Getting into the game

After the first three innings, the Green Batters fell behind 2-0 due to fielding errors and errant pitches that allowed the Blue Eagles to numerous bases on their way to reaching home plate.

The Taft-based squad finally started to gain momentum at the bottom of the fourth after catcher Renato Samuel led off the inning with a single before stealing both second and third bases. Marco Micael then came up with his first RBI of the season with a single, driving home Samuel to put the Green Batters in an advantage on the board, 2-1.

Padding the lead

At the start of the fifth inning, rookie standout Ezykiel Bautista managed to hit a single into the outfield. This was immediately followed by Ateneo sending in relief pitcher Joshua De Juras who struggled to get his rhythm. The defending champions took advantage of De Juras’ misplaced pitches to get runners on second and third before Alcontin delivered a two-RBI double to drive home Bautista and Segui, 3-2.

Additional errors from Ateneo’s relief pitcher allowed La Salle to tack on another run before the inning ended. Another pitching change was made by the Blue Eagles in the bottom of the sixth with Manuel Senador coming in. The substitute had his own struggles in controlling his pitches, giving up walks and hitting the batters, which the Green-and-White took advantage of in the seventh inning, scoring another three runs to give them a dominant 7-2 lead. La Salle held on to the momentum for the rest of the game, winning 9-3.

With a team full of sophomores and rookies, DLSU Head Coach Joseph Orillana was pleased with the team’s resolve but still saw many aspects to improve upon. He shares, “Kulang pa rin kami sa paluan. Sabi ko, ‘kung ma-hold kami ng pitcher, ang gawin muna namin is inside baseball tayo. Pero mas maganda, manalo ng paluan talaga para mas convincing.’”

(We still lack in hitting. I told them, ‘If the pitcher holds us back, what we should do for the moment is inside baseball. However, it’s better to win through hitting, so it’s more convincing.)

The DLSU Green Batters will look to make consecutive wins to start the season as they face the UST Growling Tigers on Thursday, February 29, at 3 pm at the same venue.

Aren Reyes

By Aren Reyes

Leave a Reply