Green Batters clinch Baseball title behind Gesmundo’s clutch homer

Co-written by: Genrev Villamin
Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

BULLSEYE! The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters are UAAP champions once again after triumphing in the winner-take-all Game 3 of the Season 81 Baseball Finals against the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 11-9, on Friday, April 5, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

A do-or-die match erstwhile taken control of by the Green-and-White suddenly became anybody’s game. La Salle finally came to their senses and broke their prolonged silence by sending Boo Barandiaran home. The Green Batters then leaned on an Anton Acuña two-run single that pushed their lead to 9-5 at the top of the eighth inning.

Ateneo stayed at the backseat in the first seven innings, but it only took a short span of sequences for them to stage their own comeback. A pop-fly by Gino Altomonte sent Macasaet home, leaving the Lasallian crowd stunned and causing a ruckus in the Atenean side, as the Blue Eagles knotted it at 9-all. After everything that had happened, the game was headed to an instant classic.

The Green Batters made sure to strike at least one in what could be their last shot at the scoreboard. Instead, they found themselves on a dangerous two outs after Barandiaran’s and team captain Iggy Escaño’s full swings landed straight to the Katipunan. Diego Lozano was the lone bright spot at the first base.

All anxious, prayers were being lifted by both sides as to what would happen in the next set of events. With all eyes on him and the pressure intensifying, Kiko Gesmundo reconfirmed to everybody why he was the reigning and defending UAAP MVP. He fired a miraculous two-run homer that delivered him and Lozano back home, causing a complete pandemonium all over the stadium, and most importantly, giving them the go-ahead 11-9 lead.

To start the game, the Green Batters wasted no time in putting themselves up on the scoreboard. With Paolo Salud, Lozano, and Gesmundo loading all of La Salle’s bases at the top of the first inning, Tuwi Park got a walk to send Salud home. Anton Rosas then swung a sacrificial one far right to bring Lozano back home for a 2-0 lead as La Salle’s offense also ended.

La Salle’s first surprise came in after head coach Joseph Orillana fielded Gesmundo at the mound. Gesmundo’s pitching made quick work of Ateneo’s batters as the Blue Eagles ended their offense scoreless.

Lozano’s walk, which followed Season 80 ROY Angelo Tantuico and Salud’s singles filled La Salle’s bases once again. Barandiaran then capitalized by hitting it straight to the center field, which sent Tantuico home. On the defensive side, a pitcher-catcher miscue committed by Gesmundo and Rosas allowed Altomonte to race to the home plate.

A sacrifice bunt by Rosas inched Gesmundo one base away from home, while also bringing Park to the second base. Salud then returned the favor by sending Gesmundo home on a low swing to the left field. Come Ateneo’s offensive, La Salle forced three quick outs against the Blue Eagles to maintain a 4-1 distance after three innings.

The Taft-based squad continued their scoring spree at the top of the fourth inning. Back-to-back fumbles by the Katipunan-based defenders sent Barandiaran and team captain Iggy Escaño home in different plays. La Salle pushed their lead to 6-1, which they maintained after earning their first scoreless offensive in the fifth inning.

Things started to get interesting at the bottom of the same inning, where Ateneo’s aggressiveness began to heat up. The Blue Eagles pulled back to within three, 3-6, following a two-run batted in by Tan. On the other hand, the Green Batters seemed to have cooled off after laying down another egg at the top of the sixth inning.

Park missed a Mallari hit at the bottom of the sixth, allowing Bitong to sprint back to their bench. Macasaet then brought Mallari back as Ateneo pounded their way back into the game, suddenly trailing by only one point, 5-6.

Although they were able to defend and keep their lead, La Salle continued to shoot zeroes in the seventh inning. Both teams produced nothing in a prologue to what eventually turned out to be dramatic and heart-stopping eighth and ninth innings.

Barandiaran will leave the Green Batters with the Best Hitter award, while Gesmundo is the uncontested Finals MVP. Escaño bagged the Most RBIs Made award. Lastly, Lozano claimed the Best Slugger, Most Home Runs, and Season MVP awards.

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.

Green Batters ‘got to want it even more’ in potential title-clincher

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

Team captain Iggy Escaño and the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters moved to within a win away from clinching the UAAP Season 81 Baseball title after pulling out an impressive victory against their archrivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles in Game 1 of the Finals last Friday, March 29, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

‘A tough battle as expected’

Those who watched the first game live at the venue and on livestreams were presented with a low-scoring ballgame in the first five innings, before things spiced up in the next four. La Salle and Ateneo engaged in a highly defensive match as neither wanted to give up a crucial Game 1 victory to the other.

Escaño described the finals-opener as “a tough battle as we expected it to be.” Although they were coming into it with a six-game winning streak, the captain of the Green Batters reminded his team to come ready and really wanting to win.

Clearly, with no less than the championship on the offering, who would not come ready and really wanting to win? So, Escaño told the team “that we just had to want it more.”

And that hunger translated after the Green Batters hung on to win it in a suspense ending. “I think we really showed that in the end even when they were trying to make a comeback. We didn’t let up and kept fighting to get that win,” Escaño shared.

Next man up

La Salle and Ateneo not only had to wrestle in a Baseball match, but also had to play it under the burning heat of the sun…for just around four hours.

It was not only a battle of strength and speed among others, but also a battle of endurance. “The conditions were really tough with the extreme heat, and a lot of were badly cramping up,” said Escaño, whose team saw three pitchers, Luis Miñana, Boo Barandiaran, and Diego Lozano one by one cramp up late in the game.

He added, “I liked how people in the team stepped up when we needed to, especially the pitchers. When one by one they started going down with cramps, the next guy was always ready to get the job done.”

It was a testament to how La Salle wanted to claim Game 1 more, and that alone was made Escaño a proud leader. “I’m proud of my team for fighting through it and giving everything they had to get that win.”

Barandiaran replaced Miñana at the top of the seventh inning after the rookie pitcher suffered from cramps. In an instant, however, the Blue Eagles were quick to adjust to Barandiaran’s pitches as they finally put themselves up in the scoreboard with two runs. On the other hand, the Green Batters were silenced at the bottom of the same inning.

Regardless, Barandiaran was able to make his adjustments as the Taft-based squad returned the favor to Katipunan with four runs in the eighth inning, including a Superman-unleashing homerun by Escaño. “Our offense woke up a little bit late though in that game, and I feel like we can do a better job of scoring more runs earlier in the game.

Later in the game, Barandiaran was replaced by Lozano, who was eventually also replaced by Arvin Herrera. “Our pitching and defense were really good through the most part of the game.”

Who wants it more?

Now that everything in Game 1 is done, the Green Batters set their eyes on what could be their last and sweetest game in the UAAP Season 81—the series closer and the championship clincher.

An improved hitting team and four hours of play under a more intense heat of the sun are just some of the things that they can expect in Game 2. And for Escaño, “Now knowing the conditions we’re going to play in, we’re all coming in more prepared.”

He added, “I feel like our bodies will definitely be ready for whatever Game 2 may bring.”

Escaño was least surprised when Ateneo held their final stand at the top of the ninth inning, pulling to within two after being down by seven. “I can’t say that I was surprised by their rally because I knew a team like Ateneo wasn’t going to go down without a fight, especially with stakes this high.”

They did it in the first six innings of the game. “We were able to hold them scoreless, and that’s tough to do with a hitting team such as Ateneo,” Escaño said. Now, the focus is how they can keep their defense as sharp as that.

But just as he would always say, “I knew my team was ready for that and I had full confidence and trust in my teammates at that moment that we could come out with the win even during that rally.”

La Salle may have taken Game 1, but it is not over until it is over, and now is definitely not the time to relax. The Green Batters expect Ateneo to go into Game 2 wanting to force a winner-takes-all match on Friday.

He would always remind his teammates to come in with a greater desire to win, but Escaño simply believes that they have already prepared well and it will just be a matter of who wants it more.

“That’s what it’s really all about. As I said before, I know this team has what it takes to bring that championship home and tomorrow, I’m confident that we’re going to prove that to everybody.”

Green Batters move one win away from claiming Baseball title

Co-written by: Genrev Villamin
Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

After four hours of play under the heat of the sun, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters drew first blood in the UAAP Season 81 Baseball Finals to move one win away from claiming the championship.

La Salle defeated archrivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 9-7, in Game 1 of the best-of-three series last Friday, March 29, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The Green Batters and the Blue Eagles engaged in a low-scoring match as the Season 80 first runners-up held on to a 1-0 lead after five innings. The latter remained blank after their offensive in the sixth inning. At the bottom of the same inning, things started to spice up for the Green Batters.

First, a sacrifice bunt by Tuwi Park brought Pineda to second base. Rosas then hit a double with an RBI that sent Pineda home. Paolo Salud scored a single with an RBI to bring Rosas home and Angelo Tantuico to second base. Diego Lozano eventually loaded all bases for DLSU. Back-to-back walks from Boo Barandiaran brought Tantuico and Salud home and gave La Salle a 5-0 edge over Ateneo.

Rookie pitcher Luis Miñana suffered from cramps in the seventh inning, and the Blue Eagles capitalized. They cut their deficit to three after finally putting themselves on the scoreboard, 2-5. However, they could not read Barandiaran as soon as he made adjustments in the following inning.

The Taft-based squad looked to pull away at the bottom of the eighth inning. Lozano started it off with a double followed by a single from Barandiaran. Team captain Iggy Escaño cleared the bases after hitting a home run that also sent Lozano and Barandiaran home. Kiko Gesmundo scored a single before an RBI by Rosas sent the UAAP Season 80 MVP home. After eight innings, La Salle erected a huge seven-run lead over Ateneo, 9-2.

The Blue Eagles put up their last stand at the top of the ninth inning. Andaya, Mallari, and Banzon each hit singles to load all bases. Macasaet sent Andaya home off a pitch from Lozano, who replaced Barandiaran. With all their bases still loaded, Tantuico hit a grand slam. All of a sudden, the crowd were into a suspense ending as Ateneo pulled to within only two runs behind, 9-7. However, the Green Batters would not be denied as they were able to tag the last hitter from Katipunan to seal Game 1.

Support the DLSU Green Batters as they look to end the series and claim the championship tomorrow, April 2, 12 NN at the same venue.

UAAP Season 81 Finals Team Preview: DLSU Green Batters

Photo by: Jennifer Serrano

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters have always placed an emphasis on ‘redemption’ in their current run in the UAAP Season 81 Baseball Tournament. With memories of the shock loss in the Finals last season still vivid for most of them, the Green Batters entered this season hungry to redeem themselves and reclaim what should have been for them.

Around a year later, the Green Batters finish the elimination round with a string of six consecutive wins, including a clean slate in Round 2 and an average margin of 13 runs over their last three games. They return to the championship stage where they can show what being hungry for redemption looks like.

A lineup like no other

La Salle will be bannering strong lineup built around the core of last season’s silver medalists, including team captain Iggy Escaño, reigning UAAP MVP Kiko Gesmundo, and veterans Diego Lozano and Boo Barandiaran.

“We’ve shown this season that our offense can put up runs and string hits against any pitcher in the league,” the team captain confidently shared. He added that aside from their hitters, the Green Batters also boast of a deep pitching lineup. “We have a good number of guys that can come in to pitch at any given situation and help us get the outs we need.”

No less than head coach Joseph Orillana shared the same assessment of his team. “Strength nila ang pitching at hitting. Matibay ang pitchers ko. Matibay ang hitters ko.” He added, “Kalaban lang naman nila yung sarili nila. The rest nasa sa kanila na.”

Escaño admitted that what usually hurts them is “our own errors or lack of execution. It’s very important that we limit those and play our game.”

A lineup like no other can go down to drain if the Green Batters fail to execute. Wary of their weaknesses, Orillana first wants to see the Green Batters play on both ends without pressure.

Play simple Baseball

The Finals, the dream run of every team, means everything for those who reach this far. Athletes from both squads are expected to pour out and leave everything in this series. For Orillana, he reminds his wards to play as if it was just another stretch of regular games. “Wag isipin na championship ito. Kung paano sila lumaban nung eliminations, ganun lang din ang approach dito.”

Wary of their tendencies, the only other thing he asks of the Green Batters is to play simple Baseball. The former national team standout said, “Wala na dapat masyadong ingredients sa laro nila kasi malakas na sila. Simple Baseball, okay na yun.”

The long-time Green Batters’ tactician rued unnatural movements during their championship run last season. “Ang nangyayari kasi, hindi na nagiging natural dahil may TV na. Dinadagdagan nila ng arte. Wala na dapat extra movements na parang hindi nila ginagawa sa eliminations.”

The DLSU Green Batters look to draw first blood Game 1 of their Finals series against their archrivals Ateneo Blue Eagles tomorrow, March 29, 12 NN at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Escaño closed, “The mindset tomorrow is to come in with a winning mentality. We believe in our team. The hunger that this team has coupled with our belief in one another is what will bring that championship home this year. We’re focused on proving that to everyone this Finals.”

Escaño: Game versus UP a ‘confidence-builder’ for the team

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

Although they have already secured a return to the Finals after their Round 2 victory over Ateneo, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters continued to ride their momentum with a 21-9 victory over the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons last Wednesday, March 20, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

La Salle finished the eliminations with an 8-2 win-loss record to top the league in standings. They prepare for a three-game Finals series against their archrivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles.

The Green Batters’ game against UP was a no-bearing game as they were anyway assured of a spot in the grand stage regardless of the outcome. This did not mean, however, that they could take it lightly.

“We felt that the game was still very important because now is not the time to relax,” Escaño mentioned.

A win to end the eliminations would not only give them a sweep of Round 2, but more importantly also stretch their winning streak to six games, bridging the first and second rounds. And that was exactly what they needed heading into the finals.

“You want to be at the top of your game,” said Escaño. He added, “Confidence plays a big role in doing so. When you’re confident with the way you’re playing, that’s when you’re at your best. I told the team to use this game (against UP) as a confidence-builder.”

With the kind of performance they put against UP, the veteran hitter could not be more confident of their chances in the finals. “Our offense stayed hot and our defense was steady. That was a good sign heading into the finals.”

Escaño felt that they still committed errors which prevented them from ending the game earlier. The Green Batters were up by eight runs, 12-4, after six innings, and had a chance to end it in the following inning. Nonetheless, those were “not really a major thing for that game, but those are the types of things we can’t commit in the finals.”

Entering the best-of-three championship round with a great momentum, the Green Batters’ captain sees his team to be “playing really good Baseball right now. We’re definitely peaking at the right time.”

The only thing they have to make sure is to be able to execute in the finals the same Baseball they are playing right now.

Support the DLSU Green Batters in Game 1 of the Finals on Friday, March 29, 12 noon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

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!

Green Batters return to finals after dismantling Ateneo

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters avenged their first round loss against archrivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Batters following a 16-5 demolishing yesterday, March 17, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The Green Batters were in their usual deadly form from the get-go, immediately responding on defense as they failed to convert on offense. A fine catch by team captain Iggy Escaño followed by two immediate strikeouts by Luis Miñana closed the doors for Ateneo in the first inning.

After striking out Mark Evangelista, Ateneo’s pitcher put off a poor performance that gave walks to Tuwi Park and Anton Rosas. A catching error by the Blue Batters sent them to third and second bases, respectively. Not long after, another pitching error gave Angelo Tantuico a walk to load La Salle’s bases. One more walk for Paolo Salud gave a freebie and broke the deadlock as it sent Park home. With the bases still loaded, Boo Barandiaran’s zinger brought Rosas and Tantuico home for a 3-0 lead. Soon after, Escaño erupted with a homerun to push La Salle’s lead to 6-0. Ateneo tried to rally after La Salle’s six-point explosion with a homerun courtesy of their Tantuico. But, the Taft-based squad immediately shut the doors with easy catches on Altamonte and Eizmenda’s pop-flies. La Salle led Ateneo, 6-1, at the end of the
second inning.

Contrary to their performance in the previous innings, it was a different La Salle squad in the third inning. Easy catches on Tantuico and Diego Lozano’s respective hits, and a strikeout on Salud prevented the Taft-based squad from extending their lead. On the other hand, a single by Macasaet was enough to bring Mallari home to put Ateneo on the scoreboard, 2-6.

The Green Batters rode on the same tempo in the next inning. Escaño and Gesmundo both failed to beat the throws, while Ateneo struck out Barandiaran. On the defensive end, a miscue by La Salle sent Tan to first base, to which the Katipunan-based squad took advantage. Altamonte’s boomer to the middle-left brought Tan home, inching their team closer, 3-6.

La Salle finally regained their momentum in the fifth canto. The Green Batters avoided a collapse starting from a Park roller good enough for a single. A bunt by Rosas moved him to first base, and Park barely beating the throw to second base. Salud’s zinger then brought him home. Not long after, Lozano’s boomer to far left sent Rosas home, before a similar hit by Barandiaran added two more runs for La Salle. The Blue Eagles then absorbed another Escaño hit that pushed their lead to eight, 11-3. The Blue and White capitalized on La Salle’s errors with a hit to the left that sent Mallari and a pinch hitter home. Nonetheless, they still trailed the Green and White after five innings, 5-11.

Following a scoreless sixth inning, Salud got things underway in the seventh inning with a triple. Lozano capped it off with a two-run homer. There was no looking back for La Salle as Gesmundo and Evangelista sent Barandiaran and Escaño, respectively. Another hit sent Gesmundo home to deal Ateneo an 11-run mountain to climb.

The Katipunan-based squad failed to score at the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Taft-based squad back-to-back mercy rule victories with a final score of 16-5.

Head coach Joseph Orillana stated, “Proud na proud ako sa naging performance nila kasi sabi ko sa kanila na ibigay lang yung best nila.” He lauded his wards’ will to win and ultimately punch the ticket to the Finals. “Yung will nila, kung gaano nila gusto maglaro, makikita din dun. So proud talaga ako sa kanila.”

As the Green Batters wrap up the elimination round, Orillana added, “Magfocus kami at least kahit papaano hindi na masyado mabigat para sa amin. Magkaroon na rin ng playing time yung mga hindi nare-regular nine.”

With the win, the Green Batters stretched their streak to six, as they remained undefeated in the second round of elimination. They now hold the top of the standings with a 7-2 win-loss record.

The DLSU Green Batters will attempt to sweep the second round and finish the eliminations strong against UP on Wednesday, March 20, 10 AM at the same venue.

Green Batters claim fulfilling win against Season 80 tormentors, Adamson

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters went face-to-face with the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons for the first time in the UAAP Season 81 Baseball Tournament.

Eager to exact revenge from their bitter loss during the two-game UAAP Season 80 Finals, the Green Batters demolished the Soaring Falcons, 10-2, earlier today, March 3, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The defending champions opened the scoring for both teams with a double to take an early 1-0 lead at the bottom of the first inning. La Salle’s Pineda narrowly made it to the first base courtesy of an Evangelista single, but was brought out eventually. On the defensive end, Luis Miñana easily struck out Maigue to retain the score.

At the top of the third inning, team captain Iggy Escaño and veteran Boo Barandiaran hit singles to occupy the first and second bases, respectively. UAAP MVP Kiko Gesmundo scored an RBI that brought Barandiaran home and put La Salle on board. Pineda followed with an RBI to transport Escaño and give the lead to the Green Batters, 2-1. Miñana secured a second strikeout against Adamson’s Riparip, ending the third inning with the Green Batters in the lead.

Adamson answered during the bottom of the fourth inning with one point, tying the game at 2-2. However, things heated up during the fifth inning as Diego Lozano began with a single which became a double as a fielder dropped the ball. Barandiaran’s swing turned into an impressive two-run homer, bringing him and Lozano home, and pushing La Salle’s lead to two, 4-2. Then, Escaño hit a single and forced an Adamson error to secure the second base as Pineda followed with a walk. Rosas’ hit sent Escaño home as their team did not allow any players from the opposition to add to their score. At the tail of the fifth inning, the Green Batters led, 5-2.

The Green Batters’ performance reached its peak in the sixth inning as Evangelista scored a single before stealing a double. Salud notched one far to push him to a base, while an RBI for Evangelista extended La Salle’s lead, 6-2. The Green Batters’ domination did not end there as Lozano scored a double with RBI, bringing Salud home and stealing third base.

Escaño got a ground rule double to Lozano to further bury the defending champions, 2-8. Moreover, Gesmundo’s hit brought Escaño home. After Pineda’s single, Rosas earned a single with RBI landing Gesmundo home. Their plays on both the offensive and defensive sides paid off, leaving Adamson with no chance to score as the sixth inning ended with a commanding 10-2 Green Batters lead.

La Salle held on to their lead up to the final inning of the game to secure the victory.

The DLSU Green Batters (3-2) ended the first round with a bounceback win following their back-to-back losses against Ateneo and UST.

Green Batters rout UP to start Season 81 on a high note

Written by Rejean Cheska Erfe-Mejia and Jennifer Gwen Marie Serrano

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters commenced their road to redemption with a domination of the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, 12-2, in the opening weekend of the UAAP Season 81 Baseball Tournament at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The game began on a defensive note as the pitchers did their best to strikeout their opponents. As the Green Batters’ defensive plays came in, soon their offense followed with consecutive hits, giving them the upper hand for majority of the game in the first six innings. Eventually, mercy rule has been called in the seventh inning, 12-2, in favor of the Green and White.

Rookie Luis Miñana showed an impressive performance in his collegiate debut, tallying a total of six strikeouts throughout the six innings he played in.

Team captain Iggy Escaño was satisfied with the outcome for their first game of the season. “Our defense and pitching were strong throughout the game, which made us have a comfortable lead.” He added, “Offensively, we were able to pour on more runs to end the game early.” However, he also noted the team’s tendency to cool down late in the game. “Definitely, there is still room for improvement especially in the aspect where our offense started off strong but cooled down. We shouldn’t let that happen in the next games.”

Now at 1-0, the DLSU Green Batters look forward to maintaining their early momentum as they face the NU Bulldogs on Wednesday, February 20, 7 AM at the same venue.