In a battle of the remaining two unbeaten teams in the tournament, it was the defending champions, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Batters, who came out on top with a 12-2 7th inning stoppage win over the University of Santo Tomas Golden Sox last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
Rookie pitcher Paolo Macasaet started for the Ateneo Blue Batters in place of UAAP Season 76 Most Valuable Player Andy Tan while another rookie, Ian Carlo Llade started for UST.
In the 1st inning, Adriane Bernardo gave ADMU the first run of the game coming from a walk of Lorenzo Ramos with the bases loaded. The Ateneo lead was extended in the 3rd inning with runs by Matt Laurel and Carlos Remollo. Llade was then subbed out for Max Mercado. Ateneo was up 3-1 after three innings.
Arvin Plaza was able to put UST on the scoreboard with a run in the 4th inning after a throwing error by the Ateneo field. However, the batting of the defending champions was on point for the entire day. Remollo homered deep into left field for a 2-run homerun with Laurel. UST DH, freshman Dan Libuit, was able to score a run at the bottom of the 5th to trim the Ateneo lead to 5-2.
The Blue Batters cemented the game with a huge six-run inning at the top of the 6th. Scores by Lorenzo Orberta, Bernardo, Inigo Untalan, Laurel, Remollo and Ryon Tionloc- pinch run by John Filart- blew the game wide open giving ADMU an 11-2 lead. A run by Remollo in the 7th sealed the game for the Blue Batters.
In his first UAAP seniors start, Macasaet had a good outing in giving up just two runs and four hits. Macasaet also struck-out seven of UST’s batters. Remollo led the offense for the Blue Batters with 4 runs, 2 hits, and 3 RBI’s, including a homerun.
For UST, the pitching trio of Daquiz, Mercado, and Lesmar Ventura gave up 12 runs, 12 hits, and just 6 SO’s.
The Ateneo Blue Batters next face the NU Bulldogs on Thursday, February 5 while the UST Golden Sox meet the De La Salle University Green Batters on the same day at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.