|NU (2-2), 4th
|ADMU (4-0), 1st
10 runs in the 4th.
The defending champions, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Batters, were able to defeat the National University Bulldogs in a 19-7, 7th inning drubbing last Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The Blue Batters starting pitcher, last season’s most valuable player Andy Tan suffered a high fever last Tuesday but was able to start this game. However, the effects of Andy Tan’s illness clearly showed in his game.
At the top half of the first inning, Andy Tan gave up five runs in the first inning with Herxel Fortunato, Julius Mondragon, Junmar Diarao, Clarence Caasalan, and Keneth Ybanez scoring runs for the Bulldogs to give NU an early 4-0 lead. Throwing errors by the team paved way for the NU runs.
“When I asked him (Andy Tan) kanina, I was supposed to start with Paulo (Macasaet) or (Miguel) Dumlao. Pero ang nangyari when we talked to him he was okay so I started with him. Makikita mo naman sa first inning, it’s different even ang speed nung bola iba,” Blue Batter Head Coach Randy Dizer told us after the game.
During the bottom part of the initial inning, the ADMU Blue Batters bombarded the Bulldogs with four runs from Adriane Bernardo, Inigo Untalan, Matthew Laurel, and Claudio Remollo. Right in the middle of the run, the NU staff subbed out starting pitcher Lester Sollos for Ronel Peralta. The inning ended with NU leading by 1, 5-4.
A run in the 2nd inning by Inigo Untalan was scored after a catching error by NU first baseman Clarence Caasalan to give ADMU another point.
A pitching change occurred in the 3rd inning with Nacho Cojuangco replacing Andy Tan. NU grabbed the lead again in the 3rd inning when Caasalan hit a triple that led to a Junmar Diarao run. The Blue Batters took the lead for good in the bottom half of the 3rd inning with runs scored by Claudio Remollo, from a Lorenzo Ramos RBI, and Ryon Tionloc.
Then, the 4th inning run happened. 10 total runs were scored in the inning that sealed the game in favor of the Blue Batters. Inigo Untalan scored first for ADMU after a throwing error by NU shortstop Julius Mondragon. A double by Ryon Tionloc gave Matt Laurel a run. A triple by Carlos Remollo led to runs for Lorenzo Ramos and Cesar Esguerra. The NU Bulldogs pitchers were subbed out left and right to try to quell the rally but to no avail. Five more runs were scored in the inning that gave ADMU a huge 17-4 lead.
The Bulldogs scored a single run in the 5th courtesy of Herxel Fortunato.
Two runs in the 6th for ADMU sealed the game for the defending champions. Matthew Laurel sent a deep homer onto center field for login two runs and extend the ADMU lead to 19-7.
Matt Laurel led the Blue Batters with 4 runs, 2 hits, and 5 RBI’s. 10 other batters for ADMU scored runs as well. Substitute pitcher, sophomore Nacho Ramos also had a good outing for the Blue Batters in giving up just 2 runs and 2 hits while striking-out two NU batters.
Coach Randy Dizer had high praise for his sophomore pitcher Nacho Cojuangco. “Cojuangco pitched well. Ganda ng laro. I have two sophomore pitchers si Cojuangco and si (Miguel) Dumlao. Kung titignan mo the way they move, they are seasoned. Si Nacho kung titignan mo has the biggest curve in the tournament right now. Malaking bagay ang experience na nakuha nila.”
In closing out the interview, Coach Dizer had this to say about Sunday’s big rivalry game against the DLSU Green Batters:
“Every time we play La Salle it will always be close. The advantage that our team has is that we have six seniors. The experience and the age ang lamang natin sa kanila.”
He even gave this prediction for the game, “Pagka nakauna kami, mamemercy namin sila.”
The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Batters will next face the De La Salle University Green Batters on Sunday, 10am with Paulo Macasaet set to start for the defending champions. The NU Bulldogs look to bounce back as they face the Adamson Soaring Falcons also on Sunday. Both games will be played at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.