Baseball

Published on April 2nd, 2019 | by Jennifer Serrano

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Green Batters fall short in Game 2 as Ateneo forces sudden death

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters dropped a potential title-clinching Game 2 against the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 3-7, on Tuesday, April 2, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

La Salle had a cold offense to start the top of the first inning as they were held scoreless. On the other hand, Banzon and Macasaet went to the third and bases, respectively, following a double from the latter. Gino Tantuico connected on a single to send his teammates home and put Ateneo on the scoreboard, 2-0.

In the third inning, the Green Batters defensively stepped up their game as Diego Lozano finally put La Salle likewise on the scoreboard, 1-2. Team captain Iggy Escaño swung a dangerous one and what could have been an easy catch for Ateneo. However, two Blue Eagles on the right field committed a miscue as Lozano escaped with a run to the home plate. Reigning UAAP MVP Kiko Gesmundo followed it up with a shot deep to the center that sent Boo Barandiaran home and tied things up at 2-all.

Ateneo answered right away at the bottom of the same inning. Tantuico hit a single as Macasaet rushed to the third base. Tan sent Macasaet home with his own single, before a bunt Bitong got Tantuico running to the home plate. Another bunt by Andaya almost allowed a complete rotation by Altomonte, but a double play by the Green Batters prevented him and ended their offense. La Salle trailed Ateneo, 2-4, after three innings.

Reigning ROY Angelo Tantuico opted for a sacrifice bunt to send Mark Evangelista and Anton Rosas to third and second bases, respectively, in the fourth inning. However, the Taft-based squad could not capitalize as an easy catch on Paolo Salud’s fly ball and a strikeout on Lozano ended La Salle’s inning scoreless.

On the other hand, Mallari started the Blue Eagles’ offense with a double. Macasaet also swung a double as he and Mallari switched positions. Ateneo led La Salle, 5-2, after four innings.

The Green Batters continued to produce blanks in the next four innings. Nevertheless, they were able to hold the Blue Eagles scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings to keep themselves within striking distance.

However, Ateneo saw an opportunity at the bottom of the seventh inning to score two more points as Tantuico hit a two-run homer. The score stabilized during the eighth inning with Ateneo having a comfortable lead of five points.

With their backs against the wall and a four-run deficit entering the top of the ninth inning, La Salle did not want to back down just yet. Lozano earned a walk, and then followed it up with an escape to steal the second base. Barandiaran sent Lozano home as La Salle’s offense finally woke up. Unfortunately, their stand proved to be the last as the Blue Eagles were able to tag Barandiaran and end the game to their favor, 7-3.

The DLSU Green Batters will face the Blue Eagles one last time on Friday, April 5, 12 NN at the same venue, with the winner taking the UAAP Season 81 Baseball title.

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