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UAAP 86 Baseball: Ateneo holds strong vs NU, earns first win


Ateneo de Manila University averted a comeback scare, edging National University, 5-4, for its first win in the UAAP Season 86 Baseball tournament on Thursday at the UP Baseball Field in Diliman, Quezon City.

The Blue Eagles, who came in sixth last season and absorbed nine consecutive setbacks during that skid, evened their win-loss slate with this victory after absorbing a 5-9 defeat against defending champions De La Salle University Green Batters on opening day.

After going down 0-1 for three innings, the Blue Eagles broke through with two runs in the fourth to snag the lead for good.

An error off NU second baseman John Kiel Olazo started a series of unfortunate events for his side that saw Ateneo second baseman Javi Limpo get on base.

A hit to left-center from left fielder Alejandro Mendoza and a subsequent sacrifice fly from Ethan Mitschiener leveled the game for Ateneo. Mendoza then scored on a dash to home after a play on first base that sent Geoff Magsadia out.

“Since last season we were on a nine-game skid. I just told the boys that it’s now or never. And sabi ko nga, whatever it takes to win this game, we’ll do it. If we need to have one pitching doing this, let’s do it; but we need to hit. The good thing is, the boys did well in hitting,” said Ateneo head coach Bocc Bernardo.

This time, the Katipunan-based side was the one who completed the turnaround, shaking off a three-run seventh inning from the Bulldogs, which they tied at 1-1 and thus creating a logjam with University of the Philippines.UAAP-86-Baseball-ADMU-Mykel-Francisco-09071 UAAP 86 Baseball: Ateneo holds strong vs NU, earns first win ADMU Baseball News NU UAAP  - philippine sports news

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Rookie pitcher Gab Francisco then did well on a no-relief job at the mound, bouncing back in the last two innings to fend off the Bulldogs who leveled the game at four in the seventh inning.

The 20-year-old Marikeño dismissed two batters in the game, holding NU to seven at-bats in the last two frames.

Errors in the seventh inning gave the Bulldogs some glimmer of hope before left fielder Jherick Timban sent third baseman Gio Gorpido home for the tying run.

NU, who won 16-3 over Adamson University last Sunday, though, could not add to its tally and absorbed its first loss this season.

The Lines:
NU 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 – 4 8 3
Ateneo 0 0 0 2 1 1 1 0 x – 5 9 5

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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