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Joennard Pareja’s 2 RBI single lifts Philippines to maiden win

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After a gallant 2-12 loss to fourth-ranked team in the world Chinese-Taipei on opening day, a motivated Philippine squad powered its way to an 8-5 win over Sri Lanka, Tuesday evening at the Tien-Mou Stadium in Taiwan.

The win lifted the Philippines to the win column in Group A of the XXVIII BFA Asian Baseball Championship with a 1-1 slate, tied with number three-ranked team South Korea. Sri Lanka dropped to 0-2, while Chinese-Taipei leads the pack with an unblemished 2-0 record.

Adamson’s Steven Manaig was spectacular in the game, going 4-for-4 at-bat to score a run and punch in an RBI. But it was former Baseball Philippines MVP Joennard Pareja who iced the win for the Philippines.

With Sri Lanka knotting the game at 5-all entering the bottom of the eighth inning, Pareja singled to pave the way for runs from Diego Lozano and Jonnash Ponce. Another run courtesy of Adamson’s Erwin Bosito gave closer Junmar Diarao of NU a breather to close out the contest.

Sri Lanka gained the early lead in the game after scoring three runs in the second inning. Ponce then slammed a three-run home run at the bottom of the third inning to square things up.

A sacrifice fly by Carlos Munoz brought home Manaig in the fourth inning to give the Philippines the lead, while Manaig was able to bring home Bosito in the seventh inning to extend the lead to two.

Starting pitcher Paulo Macasaet pitched 7 1/3 innings throwing 115 pitches with nine strikeouts.

The Philippines plays its final game of the elimination round tonight against South Korea at 6:30pm. The winner will advance to the semifinals, while the loser drops to the classification phase.

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Carlos Munoz has 4 RBI as Philippine pitchers shutout Hong Kong to advance to semis

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Hope was not lost when the Philippines was outclassed by powerhouse South Korea last Wednesday as the Philippine batters were given a crack at the last semifinals spot in a do-or-die game Wednesday afternoon.

Carlos Munoz and the Philippines did not waste this opportunity, pinning Hong Kong, 10-0 abb. 7th, to qualify for the next round of the XXVIII BFA Asian Baseball Championship at the Tien-Mou Stadium in Taiwan.

At the end of the elimination round, the Philippines finished with a 1-2 slate in Group A while Hong Kong sported a 1-1 record in a three-team Group B. China, who was supposed to be in Group B, backed out at the last minute.

Munoz, a product of the La Salle baseball program, powered the Philippines’ offense, finishing with 4 RBIs.

And Munoz provided the spark for the Philippines, popping a double that brought home Aids Bernardo and Diego Lozano in the opening inning while driving in a run of his own for an early 3-0 lead.

The Philippine pitchers were also superb on the mound, allowing just four hits and leaving all runners stranded.

With the Philippines scoring two runs and one more in the fourth and sixth innings respectively, the young team went for the kill in the seventh inning.

Javi Macasaet brought home Joennard Pareja with a triple to start the rally. Macasaet was then brought home by Steven Manaig while a 2RBI single by Jonaidsash Ponce paved the way for a Manaig run and Bernardo’s third run of the game.

Bernardo finished with three runs, going 2-for-4 at-bat, while incoming Ateneo sophomore Javi Macasaet added two more runs.

With the win, the Philippines booked another date with Chinese-Taipei to open the “super round”. The fourth-ranked team in the world and host defeated the young guns of the republic, 12-2, on opening day.

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Philippines’ young guns banner team for Asian Baseball Championship

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Though the process of developing a world-class baseball national team will take some time, the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (PABA) is making sure that the program will have a proper launching point, as the association will be sending over a team that is stacked with homegrown talent to the 28th Baseball Federation of Asia (BFA) Asian Baseball Championship from October 2 to 8 in New Taipei City, Taiwan.

“First of all, this is a long process, but we have to start it. With my involvement with PABA this year, one of our objectives was to comply with our international commitments, lalo na sa BFA,” said PABA secretary general Chito Loyzaga.

“Yun lang muna target namin this year, to send a signal that we are here, alive and kicking, and that we are going to participate.”

Beside its agenda of complying with Asia’s international federation for baseball, PABA is also making sure that the products of the Philippines’ grassroots baseball program will be given international exposure, far from their past initiative of calling back Filipino-foreigners to compose the national team.

The Philippine team, which has an average age of 22 years old, will be composed of players that are competing in the UAAP baseball tournament.

Representing defending champions Ateneo de Manila University are reigning UAAP Season 79 Finals MVP Paulo Macasaet (P), catcher Dino Altomonte, and infielders Javi Macasaet (2B) and Marco Mallari (RF). Also returning for national duty is shortstop Aids Bernardo, who last campaigned for the country during the 2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers.

The De La Salle University will be sending over reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player Iggy Escano (1B), Diego Lozano (1B, P), sophomore Geof Magsadia (LF), senior Kiko Gesmundo (3B, P), and alumnus Carlos Munoz (RF, P). The trio of Jerome Yenson (P), Erwin Bosito (CF), and Steven Manaig (C) are the Adamson University’s representatives, while Alfredo de Guzman (C) and Clarence Caasalan (1B) of the National University made the team as well. Pitchers Ron dela Cruz and lefty Lesmar Ventura, both of whom were instrumental in the silver medal finish of the University of Santo Tomas last season, will play pivotal roles for the Philippines’ bullpen.

“It’s a young team. I heard that the average age is 22 years old. We are happy to see how they will perform,” added Loyzaga.

Providing leadership to the young team are veterans Jarus Inobio (LF), Joennard Pareja (2B), Jennald Pareja (SS), Jonash Ponce (CF), Jon-Jon Robles (P), and Romeo Jasmin (P).

NU softball team head coach Egay delos Reyes will serve as the team’s manager. UST head coach and legend Jeffrey Santiago, Adamson great Orlando Binarao, and champion coach Joseph Orillana of La Salle will compose the team’s staff.

Not much is expected from this team in the competition, which also features world-ranked teams Japan, South Korea, and Chinese-Taipei. But Loyzaga shared to the team that the ultimate goal is to earn the respect of the region.

“I told the boys na, ‘This is the top tournament in Asia and that you will face the top teams in the continent, including three of the top four teams in the world. Again, I am also an athlete like you, I always want to win but winning is not everything. If we don’t win on the field, I hope all of you earn their respect as Filipino athletes and as the national team.’,” he said.

The Philippines is part of Group A in the preliminary round together with hosts and fourth-ranked team in the world Chinese-Taipei (Monday, 6:30pm); Sri Lanka (Tuesday, 6:30pm); and third-ranked team in the world South Korea (Wednesday, 6:30pm).

The top two teams in the two groups will advance to the semifinals, while the bottom four will figure in placement matches.

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Salud closes out golden season, earns top NCAA D3 indiv award

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A minor setback for a major comeback

After being clobbered 2-12 in Game One, Miguel Salud and the California Lutheran University Kingsmen needed to win two games against Washington and Jefferson College Presidents in a span of one day. But just as what they have done all season long, they needed to “win the inches.”

“It was huge that I was able to rest yesterday [Game One]. We did get clobbered but it was a minor setback for a major comeback,” Salud, the UAAP Season 75 Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, shared.

With the Kingsmen extending the series to a winner-take-all Game Three 12-4 earlier in the day, Salud successfully closed out for Cal Lutheran for the 14th time this season (a school record) to take a 7-2 win and give the school its first championship, Wednesday morning at the Fox Cities Stadium in Wisconsin, USA.

“We are thin on the mound all year. I think we only brought seven pitchers to this trip. We do have two-way guys but that’s all we have,” head coach Marty Slimak said. “These guys stepped up.”

The 6-foot orthodox pitcher pitched the last three innings of Game Three, holding the Presidents during the pivotal seventh inning that had the Kingsmen clinging to a slim 3-2 edge.

“We are going to go with Miggy late no matter what. It was just going to be that and it all worked out,” Slimak furthered.

The Kingsmen were able to pull away with a run at the bottom end of the seventh inning followed by three more runs during the eighth to seal the NCAA Division 3 crown.

For his consistency on the mound, the 22-year-old was named as the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, posting norms of 1.23 earned run average with three saves, nine strikeouts, and just one earned run in four appearances and 7.1 innings.

And for the 2017 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year, it was an unexpected honor for an unexpected season.

“From the beginning, I did not even think that I will be closing out. I was just the first guy out of the pen,” the former Blue Eagle reflected. “And when they told me that I would be the closer, I just took my approach and hit my spots. Every time I come out, the only thing I see is me and my catcher.

I would just reset when anything bad happens or a runner gets on base to not rattle myself,” Salud added.

Still having playing years left, Salud looks to further hone his craft in the years to come.

Photo and game notes from clusports.com

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Ex-Ateneo ace helps Cal Lutheran reach NCAA D3 World Series

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Remember the name

After steering the Ateneo Blue Eagles to its first baseball championship four years ago, Miguel Salud is making a name for himself in NCAA Division 3 baseball with the California Lutheran Univrsity Kingsmen.

The 22-year-old pitcher, who won both Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year during the 75th season of the UAAP, helped the Kingsmen reach the NCAA Division 3 World Series, closing out during their Final Four tilt against North Central (Illinois), 10-8, Monday. The game was held at the Fox Cities Stadium in Wisconsin, USA.

Salud, a resident of Makati City, proved to be crucial for the Kingsmen down the stretch.

With North Central closing in on the Kingsmen 10-8 during the eighth inning, Salud was able to shut down the Illinois-based squad to seal the win. His 13th save tied the school-record.

The Kingsmen though dropped Game One of the NCAA Division 3 championship to Washington and Jefferson College, 2-12, early Tuesday morning. Game Two of the best-of-three series will take place on May 30 at 12:00nn (PT).

Prior to the NCAA tournament, the 6-foot pitcher won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year after helping steer the program cop both the regular season and conference post-season championships.

Salud, who has a brother playing for the De La Salle University Green Batters, left for the States after just one school year in Ateneo.

Photo from http://www.clusports.com

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