With National University chairman Hans Sy in attendance, the NU Bulldogs defeated the UP Fighting Maroons in a high scoring affair, 12-9 last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
NU starting pitcher, rookie Orlando Miranda struggled in the opening inning of the contest. Miranda immediately gave up three hits to the first three UP batters. It eventually led to runs by Martin Senador, Karl Peralta, and JM San Juan to put UP up 3-0.
The NU offense picked up in the 2nd inning with four runs from Ken Ybañez, Felix Custodio, Ericson Villame, and Alfredo de Guzman to give NU a solitary run lead. The Fighting Maroons tied the game at the bottom of the 2nd inning with a run by Kimferlee Lopez, coming from an error by NU shortstop Julius Mondragon. This led to a pitching change for the Bulldogs as Miranda was subbed out for sophomore Junmar Diarao.
The Fighting Maroons gained the lead once more in the 3rd inning with runs by JC Pantan and Joaquin Silvestre with the latter coming from a Martin Senador RBI, his first of three for the day.
The NU Bulldogs took the lead for good in the 4th inning with two runs scored by Villame and Miranda. As the innings went on, the Bulldog lead grew larger with six more runs scored in the next four innings, including two runs by Azriel Villalobos. UP tried to rally back in the last two innings but the two runs scored by San Juan (in the 8th), and Joaquin Silvestre (at the bottom of the 9th) were not enough as NU took its 2nd win of the season.
Villalobos led the NU Bulldogs with 2 runs, 3 hits (3 1B’s) and 2 RBI’s. Complimenting the effort was Villame with 2 runs as well.
National University pitcher Diarao allowed 10 hits but UP was only able to convert just three runs on those hits. The NU fielders left a total of 12 runners on base before securing the 3rd out for the game. On the other hand, UP pitcher Gabriel Rodriguez allowed 12 runs and 11 hits with nine coming from singles. Rodriguez also had eight errors during his outing.
The NU Bulldogs will next play the defending champions, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Batters, on Thursday, February 5 while the UP Fighting Maroons will try to win their first game for the season against the also winless Adamson Soaring Falcons in the first game of the day.