With just a few games left in the 2019 Philippine Baseball League Open Conference, the teams have been going at it as they try to crack the top two in their respective groups.
Last weekend, the Adamson University Soaring Falcons and the Philippine Air Force Lawin received major boosts to their campaign after picking up spectacular wins.
Adamson scored the biggest upset of the tournament so far, rallying back from four runs down in the seventh inning to stun the Katayama Basketball Academy, 9-8, last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
“Ang iniisip ko kasi, yung KBA wala yang practice as a team eh. Sabi ko sa mga bata ko, pagka tumagal, siguradong mananalo tayo,” said Adamson head coach Orlando Binarao.
In the seventh inning, Jericho Medina and Ryan Pangan provided the spark for Adamson. Christian Maigue and Lexter Carandang brought the two home with back-to-back base hits to slice the lead down to just one run.
A sacrifice fly by Steven Manaig brought home the tying run. A two-out double by Lloyd Salarda then turned into the go-ahead run.
On the other end, Raymond Nerosa, who went the distance, dug deep on the mound, surviving KBA’s firepower to seal the win.
“Ang kailangan lang namin tumama. Buti rin nag-deliver si Nerosa,” expressed Binarao.
With the win, Adamson and KBA are tied atop Group A with identical 3-1 slates. Air Force also received a major boost to their post-season hopes as they scored twin kills last weekend.
After a 10-0 shutout of RTU-Alums last Saturday, Air Force bombarded the De La Salle University Green Batters, 8-3, to propel themselves to solo second in Group B.
“Maganda yung hitting namin. Wala na kaming hahanapin pa,” said Lawin head coach Wilfredo Hidalgo.
After Junmar Diarao’s masterpiece last Saturday, Romeo Jasmin followed it up against La Salle by limiting La Salle to just eight hits – striking out seven batters.
“Si Jasmin, nilabanan niya yung pagod. Sinabi naman niya na kaya pa niya at nag-deliver siya,” Hidalgo said.
Rich Calivoso also showed his might over the young Green Batters, going 3-of-3 at bat while tallying three RBIs.
Air Force, who is 3-1, going up by half-a-game against La Salle.
In other games, the NU Bulldogs (A, 2-1) took advantage of the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ (A, 1-3) extra inning errors to take a 4-3 upset.
The UST Golden Sox picked up their first win in three tries after staving of the UP Fighting Maroons (B, 0-3), 10-6. Meanwhile, the IPPC Nationals (A, 2-1) put themselves back into contention after a 5-0 shutout of the RTU Thunder (A, 0-4).
On Wednesday, Air Force look to punch their ticket to the semifinals when they take on UP at 8:00 am. KBA and NU will follow it up in a pivotal match-up in Group A, while Ateneo look to arrest their skid at the expense of RTU to close out the day.