Baseball

Published on March 20th, 2019 | by George Aladin

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Green Batters clobber resilient UP squad to complete Round 2 sweep

Co-written by: Genrev Josiah Villamin
Photo by: Steffi Chua

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters completed their sweep of the second round of the UAAP Season 81 Baseball Tournament after defeating a resilient University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons squad, 21-9, earlier today at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

It was a no-bearing game for both squads as the Green Batters have already punched their ticket to the Finals. On the other hand, the Fighting Maroons are no longer in contention for the championship round. Regardless, the victory gave La Salle a huge momentum as it kept their winning streak alive.

La Salle opened the game with a hot start. Diego Lozano instantly provided a home run in the first inning. The Green Batters then added five more points in the second inning. They immediately pulled away from UP, 6-0.

The Taft-based squad continued their offensive barrage in the third inning after Boo Barandian launched a base-clearing hit. Lozano, J. Bilbao, and Casas all returned home courtesy of that double from Barandiaran. On the other hand, the Fighting Maroons ended their cold streak. Yang’s double with two RBIs put up them up to three points. Nevertheless, La Salle remained ahead, 10-3, at the end of third.

The Green Batters cooled down following a scoreless fourth inning. Meanwhile, UP loaded their second and third bases with a Balagtas bunt. Cagas nearly sent Landicho home, but a tag on him ended their offensive. No team scored in the fourth period.

Team captain Iggy Escaño connected on single with an RBI that sent Lozano home in the fifth inning. On the other hand, costly errors from the Fighting Maroons kept them scoreless in their offensive.

At the top of the sixth inning, Pineda reached the third base following one miscue after another from the Diliman-based squad. Evangelista’s pop-fly then pushed Pineda home. At the bottom of the same inning, UP converted after Geronimo reached home. Regardless, La Salle remained unshaken at 12-4 after six cantos.

Into the seventh, La Salle was already looking good in sweeping their series against UP. Ignacio sent Acuña home after hitting a double. Then, Gesmundo followed suit after two defenders missed Pascual’s short stab. Subsequently, another error from UP’s pitcher and catcher made it possible for Escaño to steal a run. Down by 10 at the bottom of the seventh inning, UP responded with Cagas and Yang racing home.

Not looking back, the Green Batters loaded their bases to open the eighth frame. However, a fly ball from Pascual became easy to catch for the defenders as the Taft-based squad could not capitalize.

After missing their shot, nonetheless, La Salle turned the top of the last inning into another scoring party. Rookie of the Year Angelo Tantuico started the barrage for the Green Batters after completing a run batted in by Acuña. Lozano, Acuña, Escaño, and UAAP MVP Kiko Gesmundo all completed the five consecutive runs made by the Taft-based squad.

The Green Batters finished the elimination round with a seven-game winning streak and a win-loss record of 8-2. They return to the grand stage for a chance to redeem themselves from their bitter loss last season. However, they will do it with a different opponent this time.

The best-of-three Finals series against their archrivals Ateneo Blue Eagles will start next Friday, March 29, 12 NN at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium. Animo!

george23aladin@gmail.com'

George Aladin

Write To Live, Live to be Free

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george23aladin@gmail.com'

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