|DLSU (6-2), 2nd||1||3||0||0||5||2||0||0||0||11||16||2|
|ADU (2-6), 6th||3||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||5||10||1|
The De La Salle Green Batters bombarded the Adamson University with 16 hits that churned in 11 runs in an 11-5 win last Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium to keep solo second place in the tournament.
DLSU lead off batter, rookie Paolo Salud immediately hit a single to open the game. Salud was able to steal second base and then move to third after a single by Gabriel Pineda. Salud punched in the first run of the game due to a fielder’s choice.
At the bottom half of the first inning, current leader in the best pitcher race Boo Barandiaran struggled with the Adamson batters. Manuel Navasero was walked due to balls while Gerald Riparip hit a single to load up two bases for the Soaring Falcons. After the defense putout the next batter, sophomore Jerome Yenson hit a 2 RBI double to give Adamson a 2-1 lead. Yenson then scored a run of his own afterwards. The inning ended with a double play that put Melvin Rosita and Edmark Leoncio out at third base and a shortstop tag respectively.
The Green Batters regained the lead immediately at the top of the second inning. With one out, Kiko Gesmundo and Cholo Dominguez hit consecutive singles. The two DLSU runners were able to steal bases to give them the prime real estate to score. Rookie Joaquin Bilbao then hit a 2 RBI double that paved the way for runs by Gesmundo and Dominguez. Gesmundo then scored a run of his own courtesy of a Paolo Salud single.
Barandiaran and the DLSU defense held the Soaring Falcons scoreless in the next two innings with putouts of the next six batters, including a strikeout.
For Adamson, starting pitcher Marvin Camposanto was subbed out for Raymond Matic at the top of the third inning. Matic found success in the third and fourth innings by allowing no runs and no hits, including a strikeout of Gabriel Pineda.
The Soaring Falcons continued to score a run at the bottom of the fourth inning. Sophomore Jerome Yenson connected on his second hit of the day, a triple, to open the inning. With two outs, Eric Gesmundo hit a single into center field that allowed a Yenson run to tie the game.
With the game tied but with the team’s top batting order due up to open the fifth, the batters from Taft Avenue seized the opportunity to bomb away the Adamson pitching. Last year player Carly Laurel immediately hit a double deep into center field. An RBI single by Gabriel Pineda gave DLSU the lead once more. Carlos Muñoz then hit a double that led to a Pineda run. Dino Imperial then knocked a single of his own that gave Carlos Muñoz a run, the third for DLSU in the inning. With the defense crumbling, the Adamson switched out Matic for Jerome Yenson to take over pitching duties. Ruiz was unable to quell the rally as Imperial scored a run of his own coming from a Kiko Gesmundo RBI. Dominguez then hit a single and later stole second to move Gesmundo to third base. A wild pitch by Yenson gave Gesmundo a run. Adamson then subbed out Yenson for Lourence Ruiz for their third pitching change for the inning. Ruiz was able to strikeout Joaquin Bilbao and Francisco Hasimoto consecutively while Adamson catcher Edmark Leoncio was able to putout Salud to close the inning with DLSU up 9-4.
Adamson rookie Erwin Bosito tried to rally Adamson back into the game at the bottom of the fifth. Bosito hit a single and then stole second base. Manuel Navasero was then walked to first base. An unsuccessful fielder’s choice led to a Bosito run. With Barandiaran visibly fatigued, Coach Joseph Orillana subbed Barandiaran out for Carly Laurel. The DLSU defense then successfully putout the next three batters that left Navasero stuck at second base.
The Green Batters then scored two more runs at the sixth inning with runs scored by Carly Laurel and Carlos Muñoz. Moreover, Adamson made their sixth and final pitching change of the day with Lourence Ruiz relieved for Chaplick Fernandez.
The DLSU defense did not allow anymore runs the rest of the way including LOB’s of Rosita and Navasero at third base at the sixth and seventh innings respectively.
The Green Batters were led by the all-around performance of team captain Carlos Laurel. Laurel, on offense logged in two runs and three hits (2 1Bs, 2B). On defense, Laurel only allowed four hits in closing the game. Carlos Muñoz and Kiko Gesmundo also chipped in two runs for the Green side.
After the game, Tiebreaker Times asked team captain Carlos Laurel about how different this year’s squad is compared to last year’s.
“I think we peaked too early last year. In the first round (last year), we were winning by large margins and as the season went on the games were becoming close. We did not want to pick early but we still wanted to play at high level. The practices are becoming more intense now,” Laurel told us.
Moreover, he was proud of the standout performances of the team’s rookies. “Half of our starting line-up are rookies. It took them a while to adujst to the college play and now they picked-up and they are now key players. Boo (Barandiaran), Kiko (Gesmundo), Pau (Salud) and Joaquin (Bilbao) are all playing really well.”
Finally, the team is focused for the final stretch on the season. “Compared to the first round, we are seeing the pitches better and we’re choosing the right time to swing.”
The DLSU Green Batters next face the UP Fighting Maroons on Sunday, February 22 at 1:30pm in a game that will either clinch a finals spot for DLSU or keep UP in the race while the Adamson Soaring Falcons next face the NU Bulldogs at 7am. Both games will still be played at Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.