MABALACAT, PAMPANGA — Leaning on the heroics of Miguel Salud and Jerome Yenson, the Philippines eked out a 3-2 win over Thailand in the 30th Southeast Asian Games Baseball Tournament, Monday at the Villages here.
Up by just a run entering the final inning, closer Miguel Salud was as firm as a rock.
After walking Joseph Daru, the defense knocked off him and John Daniel Daru with a 6-4-3 double play. Salud then struck out Ryan Rodgers to seal the win.
“‘Yun nga, first game talagang may pressure mga bata. Naninibago rin sila sa pitchers kanina kaya naging ganun ‘yung score. Expected namin more than five i-score namin,” said head coach Orlando Binarao.
The Philippines was down 0-1 early, before back-to-back throwing errors by Thailand in the second inning put Ferdinand Liguayan and Steven Manaig in prime scoring positions. Jerome Yenson then cleaned things up with a grounder to center field to put the Philippines up.
“Buti naman nakapag-deliver siya. Timing rin palo niya na may tao. Buti talaga naka-deliver siya,” said Binarao about his former player in Adamson Yenson.
Another error by Thailand in the sixth inning gave Liguayan another run in the sixth inning. However, a double by Oliver Dunn during the eighth inning cut the lead to just one entering the ninth inning.
Kiko Gesmundo started the game for the Philippines, allowing just one hit while striking out five in eight innings pitched.
The Philippines will next face Cambodia on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.