Coming off a thunderous victory in the Philippine Baseball League just two weeks ago, the Adamson University Soaring Falcons cooled down slightly. Still, the defending champions persevered, escaping the upstart National University Bulldogs, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
“Kailangan pa namin trabahuin yung hitting namin,” said decorated Adamson head coach Orlando Binarao. “Buti na lang yung pitcher namin hindi bumigay.”
And full credit should be given to Richard Matic for the victory.
The 20-year-old rookie out of Nueva Ecija was close to being unhittable in the last eight innings of the game, allowing just four hits and no runs. Moreover, he was able to fan six Bulldogs in his first-ever UAAP game.
Just like how he started the game – a strikeout of Noel Mercader, Matic also ended it the same way.
During the last play, and with one NU runner in scoring position, Matic threw a furious fastball against fellow rookie Ron Salaypay to close out the ball game.
“Kailangan pang maging matibay ng pitchers namin. Ang lamang lang namin siguro sa ibang team yung conditioning namin,” added Binarao, who is gunning for his fifth title with Adamson.
NU got on the board first, coming off a sacrifice fly to center field courtesy of AC Villalobos that brought home Jerome Tenorio in the first inning. It resulted in Binarao immediately retiring Michael Catalan from the game.
Adamson were able to answer right back in the second inning, going on a two-out rally.
Gerald Riparip was able to bring home Lexter Carandang for the tying run, while next batter Aaron Mercado did Riparip a favor with a long base hit of his own.
The game would then become a showcase of athleticism and fielding, as the two squads one-upped each other with fantastic catches and throws.
But at the end of the day, Matic ended up victorious in his UAAP debut.
Adamson look to build on this win as they take on the University of Santo Tomas Golden Sox on Wednesday, February 20 at 1:00pm. On the other hand, NU open the game day against the De La Salle University Green Batters.
NU – 100 000 000 – 1 5 1
ADU – 020 000 000 – 2 6 4