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Farewell Captain! Arvin Plaza ends UAAP career with win and home run

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“Enjoy the game. Huwag ma-pressure”

Those were the words UST Golden Sox team captain and graduating senior, Arvin Plaza, told his team prior to their last game of the season.

Enjoy they did! In spite of the game extending into the early evening, the UST Golden Sox and the Adamson Soaring had fun in the field with UST winning their last game of the UAAP season 9-3 last Thursday, February 26 at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The Golden Sox started with, third-year player, Kirk Daquis to start the game. Daquis anchored the UST defense in a shutout in the first four innings of the game. The Adamson Soaring Falcons almost picked up a run at the second inning. With the bases loaded but two outs, it was AdU’s James Segismundo was put out at first base for first out. Daquis also managed to strike out two batters during the first four innings.

On the offensive side, Jayrome Kimilat opened up the scoring at the bottom of the first inning after a fielder’s choice. During the second inning with two outs, Arvin Plaza popped a solo home run, his only run of the day, to give UST a 2-0 lead. Jayrome Kimilat further extended the Golden Sox lead to 4-0 at the bottom of the fourth with a 2 RBI double into left field that led to runs by Arniel Lallana and Max Mercado.

The Adamson Soaring Falcons cut the UST lead to half, after Nelson Salazar popped a 2 RBI single to left field that paved the way for runs by James Segismundo and Erwin Bosito at the top of the fifth. At the bottom half of the fifth, Max Mercado connected on a single that gave sibling Christian Mercado a run. The fifth ended with UST still up 5-2.

The two teams exchanged runs at the sixth with both teams scoring a run each. With the game out of hand, Adamson starting pitcher, Lexter Carandang was replaced by rookie Marvin Camposanto to close the game. The UST Golden Sox then scored three more runs at the end of the eighth. UST closer, Kimferlee Lopez and the UST fielders then finished the game with two put outs at first base and a tag of, the Adamson batter, Lourence Ruiz at second base to close out the game.

Third year Golden Sox player, Jayrome Kimilat led the team with three runs, a 2B and 2 RBIs. But it was Arvin Plaza’s inspirational last game that brought faith to the team.

Arvin Plaza reflected on the season with us after the game. “In-aim namin nung first round ay sweep pero nung natalo sa Ateneo na down ang morale ng team. Malaki expectation sa amin ni coach at ng community. Sobrang pressure namin. Pinaka matagal namin na walang championship is four years at eto na yun.”

With just one graduating senior, Arvin Plaza displayed amazing heart for the entire season even in the team’s rollercoaster season. “Siyempre gusto pakita sa kanila ang laro ng isang senior. Kelangan ko maging anchor para sa team,” Plaza added.

The team also had six straight losses before ending the season with two straight wins. “Game by game lang. Nung last two kelangan na natin manalo para sa pride na lang natin para sa community kasi one of the biggest sports ang baseball sa UST.”

“Malaki ang expectation sa team noong preseason dahil tinalo namin ang Ateneo nung Chairman’s Cup. Siguro nakadagdag yun sa pressure.” The humble captain then ended the interview with a message for the team next year: “Mag enjoy lang sa laro. Huwag ma-pressure para malabas ang tunay na laro.”

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