Published on March 4th, 2018 | by Resch Untalan0
Green Batters eliminate rivals and defending champions Ateneo
The atmosphere was ecstatic at the Rizal Memorial Baseball field as the De La Salle University Green Batters defeat the defending champions Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles, 11-8, in the UAAP Baseball Tournament, Sunday.
The Green and White started the game strong with hits from Paolo Salud and Diego Lozano and then loading the bases but failed to convert. Ateneo drew first blood during the bottom half of the first inning after an RBI double for Dino Altomonte.
In the second inning, La Salle started its rally with hits from Josh Salinas, Kiko Gesmundo, and Salud, scoring three and taking the lead.
The score stayed at 3-1 until the fourth inning when Lozano sent Salud home with a base hit to left-center. The Blue Eagles retaliated, getting a run from Radito Banzon’s single. Seeing that Gesmundo was starting to have trouble on the mound, Coach Joseph Orillana called in Arvin Herrera for relief, moving Gesmundo to third base. Herrera finished the inning with DLSU still up, 4-2.
The Katipunan-based squad cut the Green Batter’s lead to 4-3 in the fifth inning after errors from the DLSU infield.
In the sixth inning, the boys from Taft took advantage of Ateneo pitcher Paolo Macasaet, who showed signs of fatigue. Macasaet gave up a run to La Salle after loading the bases and giving Angelo Tantuico a free base after being hit by pitch. Macasaet got out of the inning after striking out Salinas. The Blue and White stuck it to the Green Batters, getting the lead courtesy of hits and stolen bases from Marco Mallari and Javi Macasaet, and errors from the DLSU defense. The inning ended with Ateneo in the lead, 5-6.
Herrera, Salud, and Lozano, started the rally in the seventh, with Lozano getting an RBI Double before Ateneo finally subbed out Paolo Macasaet for Miggy Angeles. Gesmundo was intentionally walked by the new pitcher, loading the bases. Coach Orillana sent in Jose Gabriel Pineda to pinch hit and pops it to second for what looked like and infield fly out, only to be dropped by Ateneo Second Baseman Marquis Alindogan giving Pineda the RBI single. The top half of the inning ended with La Salle at the lead, 8-6.
The Blue Eagles tied the game in the bottom half of the inning after pinch hitter Paolo Sarmiento sent two runners home with a fly to right. The game tied at the end of the 7th Inning, 8-all.
Salud continued his hitting streak in the 8th, sending a boomer to left, bringing Naguit home. Angeles then walked Lozano and Gesmundo, loading the bases. Salud tried to steal home but was caught by Altomonte. Andre Palacios was sent in to pinch hit for Pineda and hits it straight to third but the throw from third was too much to handle for the First Baseman, giving Pineda the RBI single. Palacios proved to be a super sub as he made a diving catch in right during the bottom of the inning. The 8th ended with DLSU on top, 10-8.
In the last inning, Salinas brought Tantuico home with a brilliant bunt down the third base foul line, ending up in second base after errors from the Blue and White infield. Ateneo on the other hand, was only able to get a man on base through a hit by pitch before Tantuico made the final out at left, ending the game, 11-8.
Asked what advantage they had against the Blue Eagles coming into the game, Coach noted the fatigue of Ateneo pitcher Paolo Macasaet and the energy of his own pitchers, Gesmundo and Herrera.
“Fresh yung mga pitchers ko. Si Paolo Macasaet, three games na siyang nag-nine innings kaya sabi ko sa kanila, just play your game at wag magmamadali sa paluan kasi yung pitcher ng Ateneo, medyo sunog na sunog na rin.”
“Nakita ko sa kanila na they wanted it eh. They prepared. Nag-sacrifice sila. Sabi ko lahat ng ginagawa natin sa training, mangyayari sa game.”