UAAP: Green Batters grind out win over ADMU to seize control of first seed

The DLSU Green Batters took home a big win in their high-stakes rivalry game versus the ADMU Blue Eagles, 6-5, earlier today, March 24, at the UP Diliman Baseball Field. This victory sees Taft’s finest sluggers grab a hold of the first seed in the UAAP Season 86 Tournament prior to their last elimination round game.

Worthy opponents

The two-time defending champions started strong, capitalizing on early walks from Ateneo at the top of the first inning. The bases were loaded early after a hit-by-pitch on JR Samuel and two bases-by-balls on Shinji Kajihara and Pio Villamiel. 

Stepping up to the plate was Marco Micael, whose single batted in Kajihara for DLSU’s first run. Adding to the La Salle lead was second baseman Joseph Alcontin, whose at bat saw Kajihara, Villamiel, and Micael reach home, 4-0.

The team from Taft soon lost steam, however, giving up three runs at the bottom of the second inning to allow ADMU to put themselves within one, 4-3. La Salle further allowed two runs in the bottom of the third. It was the Blue Eagles’ third baseman Ethan Mitschiener that hit a double to hand ADMU the lead, 4-5.

DLSU also suffered a blow in the third inning, losing first baseman Micael after he was beamed by a pitch during his second at bat and was later substituted.

Big-time plays

After losing a hold of the lead, the Green-and-White opted for a swap at the mound, taking out starting pitcher Nonaillada for Joshua Pineda. With the UAAP Season 85 Finals Most Valuable Player pitching from the fourth inning onwards, La Salle did not give up a single run. 

The game-deciding play occurred at the top of the eighth inning, with catcher Samuel’s at bat producing a huge two runs-batted-in double. This play saw Crisostomo and Flores reach home plate to put the Green Batters back in the driver’s seat, 6-5, before eventually closing out the rivalry affair.

Entering at bat, Samuel shared that he was eager with the opportunity presented to him. The catcher furthered that he was confident that this was their chance to turn the game: “Inisip ko ‘yun kasi may tiwala ako sa sarilii ko at may tiwala ako sa mga teammate ko.” Upon coming clutch and sending home the eventual game-winning runs, he expressed, “Sobrang saya [ako] dahil nagawa ko ‘yung best ko nung maihatid ko sila sa home para makalamang.”

(I was thinking that this was our chance to turn the game because I have belief in myself and I believe in my teammates. I’m happy because I did my best to send them home for the lead.)

Following this dramatic rivalry win for control of the first seed, the DLSU Green Batters will look to close out Round Two of the tournament on top of the standings when they take the diamond again at the same venue on April 4, Thursday, following the Holy Week break.

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

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