The Philippine Air Force have been racking up the honors in previous leagues and tournaments. And in their first foray in the Philippine Baseball League, the Lawin took flight and soared.
Air Force mounted a huge seven-run lead after the third inning to completely take the fight out of the Thunderz All Star squad and take the 2019 PBL Open title, 7-4, Sunday early afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
Veteran national team pitcher Romeo Jasmin was virtually unbreachable throughout the match. Despite allowing nine hits in the seven innings played, the former Adamson University standout anchored his defense in stranding eight men at the bases.
After a scoreless first frame, the white-shirts broke through Aids Bernardo with consecutive hits, before Junmar Diarao punched in a two-RBI single to take the 2-0 lead. Jonjon Robles then drove in another hit to send Diarao home to end the frame at 3-0.
In the third inning, PAF pulled away after scoring four more runs and capitalizing on the errors of the Thunderz shortstops. Robles got his second hit of the day when he put the game out of reach at 7-0.
With the Lawin known for their pedigree, Jasmin considers several factors in this win. “Siguro dahil nasa military kami, iba yung samahan namin. Iba yung chemistry.”
The pitcher also shared, “Bale kasi preparation ko na rin ‘to para sa SEA Games. Yun lang naman.”
The national team pitchers, playing outfield this match, paced the orange-shirts’ offense. Vlads Eguia ended at 2-on-3 hitting, while Jerome Yenson had a hit and two runs.
In the bronze medal match, the Adamson Soaring Falcons consolidated their Group B win over groupmates and UAAP rivals National University Bulldogs, 4-2.
Right fielder Patrick Espinosa had a perfect 3-of-3 batting. Meanwhile, Lexter Carandang finished with 2-of-3 hitting and scoring two of these four runs.
THU – 000 201 1 – 4 9 4
PAF – 034 000 x – 7 7 3