Just seven days removed from their heartbreak in the Philippine Baseball League, the De La Salle Green Batters returned to the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium with bad intentions.
The runners-up to both the UAAP Season 80 tournament and the PBL vented their ire on the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, needing just seven innings to pick up a 12-2 opening day victory, Sunday.
“Added motivation yun. Yung nangyari kasi nun, ang laki na naman ng chance namin manalo, pero dahil sa mga mali namin, hindi na naman namin nakuha. At least yung uhaw naibalik nila,” said La Salle head coach Joseph Orillana.
The trio of Tuwi Park, Angelo Tantuico, and Paolo Salud provided the spark for the Green Batters, connecting on three hits in the first inning to punch in six runs.
“Sabi ko naman sa kanila, same pa rin kung paano kami naglaro nung pre-season na kailangan nila makuha yung winning attitude nila. From the start pa lang, kailangan i-treat na nila yung as a winning inning,” shared Orillana, a La Salle great as well.
“So, maging ganun lang sana lagi yung laro nila,” he continued.
Boo Barandiaran, Kiko Gesmundo, and Iggy Escano also chipped in hits in the latter innings to put further pressure on UP’s pitching staff, led by Allen Mercado and the hapless Maroons.
Escano, the UAAP Season 79 MVP – who turned 21 years young today – went 3-of-5 at the plate, punching in two RBIs. Gesmundo and Barandiaran also had an RBI each, with Diego Lozano benefiting as he ended up with three runs.
UP tried to get things going in the fifth inning after punching in two runs, but rookie pitcher Luis Minana was unperturbed on the mound for La Salle.
“Isa siya ineexpect ko na mag-step up sa pitching. Ready na siya to pitch so I expect him to be one of our main pitchers,” Orillana said about the pitcher from Zobel, who ended up with five strikeouts in six innings pitched.
La Salle look to continue their run when they face the National University Bulldogs on Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00am. On the other hand, UP take on neighbors Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in the 10:00am game.
DLSU – 611 021 1 – 12 13 2
UP – 000 020 0 – 2 3 2