National University-Nazareth School preserved its unbeaten record after denying De La Salle-Zobel with a 7-6 squeaker in the UAAP Season 82 Juniors Baseball tournament, Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
NU’s Kurt Cabanillas drove in Nico Calanday at the top of the seventh inning with a grounder to right field,. Pitcher Regie Omana then took care of the last three outs, for the win.
“Dinevelop lang namin ‘yung willingness to win para makuha itong game. Sinabi ko na kapag nalamangan tayo, doble effort dapat,” said NU coach Egay Delos Reyes, whose squad rose to 4-0.
Omaña hit a grounder to centerfield that sent Cyril Antipolo home before he rounded the bases due to a wild pitch. An error from La Salle-Zobel then knotted the game in the sixth inning, 6-6.
With the bases loaded at the bottom of the fourth inning, Green Batter Charlie Calvadores hammered a right field flyball that sent Niccolo De Castro and Joey Dunglao to home plate, 3-4. They then converted three more runs, courtesy of Petert Nonaillada, Luciano Asuncion, and Charlie Calvadores.
La Salle-Zobel head coach Ricardo Jimenez was ejected at the top of the second inning for continuous complaining after Cabanillas was called safe at second, which Jimenez claimed was tagged out on his way to the base.
In the other match, University of Santo Tomas banked on a fifth inning rally to dispose of the suddenly-skidding Ateneo, 7-2.
Trailing 0-2 at the bottom of the fifth inning, UST backstop Mark Abella started the onslaught with a line drive to right field that sent Steven Dominguez home, 1-2.
The Junior Golden Sox followed it up with Mark Gaspi’s bunt, paired with a throwing error by Ateneo third baseman Emilio Perez to bring Abella home for the tie. Gaspi and Junel Cruz were then driven in by Ceejay Diesta, 4-2.
Dominguez capped the dominant inning with a bases clearing flyball to deep left field to score Alwyn Piñero, Justine Rosales, and Diesta, 7-2.
“Sabi ko lang nung lumamang ang Ateneo, may tatlong inning pa tayo, didiskarte tayo. Pag nagkatao, mag bunt na tayo. Pag bunt, nagka-hit, sunud-sunod na, napasukan ng isa ang pitcher, nabawasan na ang kumpyansa,” said UST coach Jeff Santiago after his team tied Ateneo for second place with identical 2-2 cards.
UST pitcher Rafael Regalado had a complete game, striking out six batters while stranding six Ateneo batters on base. Dominguez tallied three RBIs on the offensive end.
Meanwhile, the Blue Eaglets committed three errors, two of them resulting in five unearned runs.