The rematch of the UAAP Baseball Finals turned out to be a one-sided affair.
Behind a dominant performance by Kiko Gesmundo and precise pitching by Luis Minana, the De La Salle University Green Batters needed just six innings to dispose of reigning UAAP champions Adamson University Soaring Falcons, 11-0, to open their Philippine Baseball League campaign, Saturday afternoon.
“Magandang morale boost ito for the team kahit pre-season lang ito,” said La Salle head coach Joseph Orillana.
Gesmundo, the UAAP Season 80 Athlete of the Year, was relentless in the game. He went a perfect 4-of-4 at-bat, resulting in four RBIs.
Already up 6-0, Gesmundo drilled a 2RBI single to left field to put the game away for good in the sixth inning.
On the other hand, Minana took charge on the mound as he allowed just two hits over four innings, striking out two. Arvin Herrera threw two innings in relief duties.
Still, Orillana is not putting weight on the victory, saying that the real battle begins in a month’s time.
“Pero nakita ko yung ikot ng tao ng Adamson, iba yung shuffle nila ng tao. Pero kami rin naman kanina ganun din. Ang maganda sa team namin kanina, lahat nag-perform pati yung mga second-stringer,” added the former Green Batter.
This was not the only game Orillana played as he, together with the IPPC Nationals, walloped the rebuilding National University Bulldogs, 14-3, later in the day.
Orillana had four hits in the game, highlighted by a triple in the third inning.
The young Bulldogs had no answer for the squad that features the top players in the country who are no longer eligible to play in the UAAP.
The University of Santo Tomas Golden Sox opened the day with a thrilling 6-4 win over the University of the Philippine Fighting Maroons.
Down 0-4 early, the Fighting Maroons stormed back with a five-run sixth inning to pick up the lead. UP’s errors in the eighth and ninth innings though ended up handing UST the victory.
On Sunday, IPPC take on Adamson to open the day. In the second game, the Ateneo Blue Eagles make their PBL debut against neighbors UP. Closing out the day will be La Salle taking on fellow opening day winner UST.