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Tiebreaker Times


UAAP 85 Baseball: Kobe Torres’ walkoff hit propels UP to solo first, ends Ateneo’s Finals hopes

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines completed a come-from-behind 11-10 10th-inning walk-off win over Ateneo de Manila University to take back the solo lead in the UAAP Season 85 Baseball tournament standings on Tuesday at the UP Diliman Baseball Stadium.

With the win, UP went up to 6-2, a full game ahead of De La Salle University and Adamson University.

After giving up a run at the top of the 10th inning, relief pitcher Kobe Torres made amends in the bottom of the said frame by blasting the ball from Ateneo relief pitcher Joshua De Juras to deep left-center to score his shortstop Nano Asuncion.

The Blue Eagles tried to send Torres out, but the throw from centerfielder Joaquin Mendoza was too high for third baseman Luis Casanova to reach, allowing the UP rookie to snag the sixth win for his squad with the walk-off run.

“Parang it’s a day for the underdogs kasi nanalo ang UST against La Salle, nanalo ang NU against Adamson,” Fighting Maroons coach Anthony Dizer said of his team’s composure after the game that ended at around 11:10 p.m. “So, sabi ko, alisin natin ‘yon. Huwag naman sana tayong matalo sa Ateneo.

“Lumabas naman sila, hanggang huli nakita ko yung puso nila. Yung mga errors hindi maiiwasan ‘yon pero they were able to come back,” the brother of Ateneo baseball program director Randy added.

UP earlier had the chance to tie the game when Ian Mercado sent the ball to deep centerfield for an inside-the-park home run, but the starting Fighting Maroons’ centerfielder hurt his legs and hobbled on his run to third base. Fellow outfielder Darren Mayo cut the deficit to one, 6-7, though, with his hit.

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Torres also held on to close out the game with the win at the mound after limiting Ateneo to three runs in the three-and-one-third innings he pitched, striking out three batters in the process. Allen Mercado earlier stood his ground for UP after starting pitcher Jumbo Dela Cruz bore the first six runs the Blue Eagles scored, as the senior pitcher allowed three runs and dismissed six batters he faced in five innings.

Ateneo went out of the gates blazing, scoring those six runs against Dela Cruz in the first two innings. Shortstop Enzo Montemayor paced his side’s offense with three hits in five at-bats but got the ball rolling with two runs—one each in those first two frames.

De Juras saved the Blue Eagles in a possible game-winning situation for the Fighting Maroons in the ninth inning, striking out second baseman Lorenzo De Castro and Mayo and then helping send Asuncion out for the third out.

The rookie pitcher limited UP to six hits in the five innings he pitched in relief of starter Ethan Mitschiener but allowed five runs, including the Torres walk-off, sending Ateneo to a 2-6 win-loss record and out of Finals contention.

The Line:
Game 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Ateneo 4 2 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 10 9 3
UP 1 2 0 2 0 1 1 2 0 2 11 14 11

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