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NU Bulldogs escape the AdU Falcons in marathon game

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NU (4-5), 4th02030001000001757
ADU (2-7), 6th010001004000006910

In a game that took five hours and 14 innings, the NU Bulldogs escaped another collapse in scoring a clutch run at the top of the 14th inning to go up to solo fourth place in the team standings last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

It was a sophomore vs. sophomore pitching matchup to open the game as AdU’s Raymond Matic was pitted against NU’s Junmar Diarao. Both pitchers held their opponents to scoreless first innings.

The scoring for the Bulldogs opened at the top of the second inning. Lead-off batter Clarence Caasalan and Junmar Diarao connected on singles to load two bases for NU. A catching error by Adamson pitcher Raymond Matic led to a Caasalan run. Then, an RBI single by Julius Mondragon paved the way for a Diarao run.

With NU up 2-0 prior to the bottom of the second inning, the Adamson Soaring Falcons picked up a run due to a throwing error by NU third baseman Keneth Ybanez. Eric Gesmundo scored the run for Adamson that cut the NU lead to 2-1.

The NU Bulldogs further extended their lead at the top of the fourth inning. A single by Alfredo de Guzman opened the inning. Then, two consecutive doubles by Julius Mondragon and Orlando Miranda gave NU three runs in the inning. With Matic’s pitches slowing down, it was deemed by the Adamson coaching staff to replace Matic for rookie Marvin Camposanto. Camposanto managed to close the next three batters including a strikeout of Rich Calivoso.

The Soaring Falcons were able to score their second run of the day at the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, consecutive errors by the NU fielders led to a run by Jerome Yenson.

With National University up 6-2 at the bottom of the ninth inning, the errors piled up for the batters from Sampaloc. A single opened the inning by sophomore Kenneth Badrina. Another single by Melvin Rosita and a throwing error that gave Eric Gesmundo first base, loaded the bases for Adamson. An unsuccessful fielder’s choice gave Salazar a run. Then, a single by rookie James Barzaga cut the UP and a sacrifice fly by Melvin Rosita cut the lead to one. With two outs, Manuel Navasero was hit by a pitch to again give Adamson two bases. Chaplick Fernandez hit a clutch RBI single to center field to tie the game and extend the game into extra innings.

At the bottom of the 10th inning, a visibly fatigued Junmar Diarao was relieved of pitching duties and was replaced by third year player Ronel Peralta.

The NU Bulldogs almost gained the lead with a run at the 12th inning but was rescinded by the umpire due to a third out coming first before the runner slid to home.

The Adamson Soaring Falcons almost took the game at the bottom of the 13th inning. An error by NU right fielder Alfredo de Guzman gave Adamson first base. Next batter Kenneth Badrina was then walked due to balls. With the next batter thrown out, the Adamson offense loaded all the bases when Edmark Leoncio was walked. However, the Bulldogs were not able to take advantage of the situation when the next two batters were struck out by Ronel Peralta.

The game winning run was scored by rookie Orlando Miranda when a Ronel Peralta RBI single conneted at the top of the 14th inning. Then it was the NU Bulldogs defense holding up to close the game.

The NU offense was led by Junmar Diarao two runs and RBI. Clarence Caasalan was able to connect on three hits and score a run.

After the game, we caught up with NU Coach Isaac Bacasiras who was proud of his squad. Coach Bacasiras told us that even though the team struggled with recruitment this year, the team still manages to keep the games close. “Ang mga player natin ngayon puro galing probinsya. Kelangan pang turuan ng basic baseball. Siguro in a year, magmamature na ang laro nila.”

The NU Bulldogs close out their UAAP Season 77 campaign against the UP Fighting Maroons on Thursday, February 25 at 7am while the Soaring Falcons face the UST Golden Sox in their last game of the season at 1:30pm. Both games will still be played at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

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