|UST (2-6), 5th||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||4||0|
|NU (3-5), 4th||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||1||4||5||2|
The National University Bulldogs have struggled throughout the season. The team has lost four of its last five games. Last Thursday, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium, the NU Bulldogs snapped out of their funk in taking a 4-3, 10th inning win over the UST Golden Sox.
The UST Golden Sox got off to a good start at the top of the first inning. Rookie Gio Martinez hit a single while Ronel Peralta was hit by a pitch to give UST two bases and just a single out. The NU coaching staff had a short leash on the pitchers as Rich Calivoso was immediately subbed out for rookie Jordan Cortez after the HP. After consecutive singles by Max Mercado and Kirk Daquis, the latter leading a run by Martinez, another NU pitching change occurred as Cortez was replaced by another rookie, Lester Sollos. Peralta then scored a run after an unsuccessful NU fielder’s choice. UST led after the first inning, 2-0.
NU’s Sollos had a good second inning in giving up no hits, including a strikeout. However, in the third inning, after giving up a run to UST’s Daquis due to a wild pitch, Sollos was relieved for sophomore Junmar Diarao, the fourth pitching change for NU.
On the other hand, UST’s Kimferlee Lopez gave up just two hits in the first five innings of the game. Moreover, the UST fielding left a runner at third on base in the fourth inning.
The Bulldogs were able to tie the game in the sixth inning after a 3 RBI double by senior Herxel Fortunato. The three runs were punched in by Ericson Villame, Clarence Caasalan, and Alfredo de Guzman. UST then subbed out starting pitch Lopez for rookie Mercado afterwards. The sixth inning ended with the game tied 3-all.
Controversy arose in the 8th inning when the Bulldogs were penalized with their second and third outs with a runner on third base. With NU’s Caasalan and De Guzman at second and first base respectively, Fortunato grounded a single that was caught by 2nd baseman Jayrome Kimilat. Kimilat fumbled and was late to pass the ball to the first base. Fortunato stepped on home but was elbowed out tagged afterwards. The NU coaching staff went berserk after the call was made but the umpire’s judgment was deemed final.
The defense of both teams held each other’s offense by the neck. In the last two innings of regulation, only one hit was given up by NU but no runner reached first base.
In the extra inning, the NU defense putout the first two batters and left a runner on first after a putout of Marlon Gonzales at first base.
Villame was walked due to balls to open the bottom half of the 10th inning. After the next two batters were putout, Fortunato was walked to load up two bases. Sophomore Julius Mondragon hit a clutch single into right field. As the ball was mid air, Villame ran hard and when UST’s 1st baseman failed to catch the ball, Villame had scored the game winning run.
NU was led by Fortunato’s 3 RBI double that tied the game during the 6th inning.
The NU Bulldogs next play the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Sunday, February 22 at 10:30am while the UST Golden Sox face the ADMU Blue Batters at 7am. Both games will still be played at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.