Published on March 11th, 2016 | by Deion Bandril0
Green Batters finish off Ateneo in finals opener 8-3
The DLSU Green Batters crush the ADMU Blue Batters in game one of the UAAP Baseball Finals, 8-3. This is the first finals victory of DLSU since 2003. The Green Batters look to end their thirteen-year championship drought this season. The game was held earlier today at Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
First Three Innings
The first three innings of the game was quiet for both teams. Green Batter Tuwi Park was able to make a single early in the first inning but the inning didn’t end with a run. King Unicorn, Carlos Muñoz opened the second inning with a walk. Cholo Dominguez then follows with a sacrifice fly for Muñoz to steal second base. Kiko Gesmundo then gets grounded out next and Paul Naguit finished the inning by striking out. The third inning was also scoreless for DLSU, it began with Josh Salinas grounding out and Franco Hashimoto striking out. Salud shows promise for a potential score with a massive left field single. However, Tuwi Park couldn’t compromise and flew out to end the top of the third inning.
The Blue Batters were also lost on batting against DLSU’s heavy defense. DLSU Pitcher, Boo Barandiaran, kept the Loyola-based squad from scoring during the starting innings. Key defensive plays also came from shortstop Hashimoto and fielder Salinas.
2-Out Rally = 5 Runs
A massive five-run rally came during the fourth inning for the Taft-based squad. The fourth inning began with Iggy Escaño flying out and Muñoz getting caught. With two outs, Dominguez walks to first and suddenly steals second. Gesmundo then gets hit with a wild pitch and walks to first. Lastly, Naguit was granted a walk and loads first base. With that, all bases were loaded due to walks from ADMU Pitcher, Paulo Macasaet.
From out of nowhere, Cholo Dominguez gets the first run of the game. Salinas then loads first base as Macasaet gives the walk. A massive three-RBI triple from Hashimoto brought home Gesmundo, Naguit, and Salinas. Hashimoto then earns his own run thanks to an RBI single from Salud. The five-run rally ended with Tuwi Park grounding out. DLSU finished the top of the fourth inning on top, 5-0. The fourth inning ended with the Blue Batters only scoring a single run, 5-1.
Fifth and Sixth Innings
The fifth inning started with Escaño making a powerful left field single. Muñoz then loads the first base with a walk. Dominguez then made a single but Muñoz then gets caught taking second. With Escaño on third, Gesmundo made a sacrifice fly RBI to bring home Escaño. The top of the fifth ended with Naguit flying out, 6-1. The Blue Batters tried to catch up by making two runs of their own. This included a solo home run from Blue Batter Tantuico during the opening pitch. With that, Green Pitcher Barandiaran was then replaced by rookie Diego Lozano. The fifth inning ended with the score still favoring DLSU, 6-3.
Salinas opened the sixth inning with a single. Hashimoto then followed it up with a hit but Salinas got caught taking second base. Surprisingly, Salud flew out during his time on the plate. Park however took first and Hashimoto had the prime scoring position. Escaño looked to make a power hit to bring home Hashimoto. However, Escaño flew out to end the sixth inning. The Blue Batters couldn’t make a proper hit due to Lozano’s leftie pitches. The score remained 6-3.
Finishing it off
King Unicorn Muñoz broke the seventh inning open with a huge triple. Dominguez followed it up with a sacrifice fly RBI to bring home Muñoz. That run extended the lead to 7-3. Gesmundo tried to carry the momentum and made a single. Naguit on the other hand flew out. The Blue Batters were still scoreless thanks to Lozano anchoring the defense with his pitching. The seventh inning ended with DLSU still leading, 7-3.
The eighth inning looked like a momentum-stopper for the Green-and-White team. It ended quickly as Salud flew out, Park striking out, and Escaño striking out too. Still, the score remained 7-3 since the Blue-and-White team couldn’t overcome DLSU’s defense.
The Green Batters entered the ninth inning looking to finish the Blue Batters off. With killer instinct, Carlos Muñoz opened the ninth inning with a powerful double. Cholo Dominguez then followed it up with an enormous RBI double that brought home Muñoz. The possible rally ended with Dominguez trying to take home. The top of the ninth ended with DLSU adding to the lead, 8-3. The Blue Batters tried to come up with a rally but failed. Pitcher Diego Lozano was simply remarkable during his time on the mound. The Blue Batters failed to come up with a run and lost, 8-3.
This win marks as the first finals game victory of the Green Batters since the 2002-2003 season. That season was led by former MVP and current head coach of DLSU, Coach Joseph Orillana. With the win, the Green Batters need one more game to end the thirteen-year championship drought. Coach Joseph Orillana and the rest of the coaching staff felt proud on how their team performed. He commented, “Sabi ko naman sa kanila na kaya naman eh. Stay focused lang talaga and believe in themselves lang talaga. Yung pressure kasi yun yung sumasabay eh. For the past two years ng experience namin sabi ko kaya na. Maybe dapat this time gising na sila. Nung na prove na nila na kaya na, naniwala na sila at nagawa na nilang manalo.”.
With this commanding win, can the DLSU Green Batters finally bring home the bacon? We will find out next game as they possibly finish the series and finally capture that illusive title that’s been haunting the team for thirteen years now. Game two will be held on Monday, March 14 and will start at 12 noon, it will still be held at the same venue.