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Tiebreaker Times


UAAP 86 Baseball: Rosales, Geronimo combine forces, power UST to dominant win over UP

University of Santo Tomas subdued last year’s runner-up University of the Philippines, 15-8, to start its UAAP Season 86 Baseball tournament campaign on a rousing note on Sunday at the UP Baseball Field in Diliman, Quezon City.

The Golden Sox, who finished in fifth place last season with a 4-6 record, had a four-game run in the second round of the previous season but their hopes of making the Finals and even to the podium were cut short with a defeat from Adamson University, 3-13, in their final game.

This time, UST knows the importance of starting on the right foot.

“Pina-intindi ko lang sa mga bata na skills-wise mas magaling tayo sa team last season, kaya dapat mag-start kami ng maganda,” said long-time head coach Jeff Santiago.

Harry Geronimo proved to be the key to UST’s victory allowing four runs on just two hits, all in the sixth inning, before getting retired from the mound with five strikeouts.

It was a dream start from the España-based side which had a huge offensive binge in the second inning, capitalizing on the errant pitching of UP starter Kiel Agojo with five runs.

Shortstop Jesus Cabigao, left-fielder Mhigeil Cerda, third baseman Timothy Caldo, first baseman Jhon Regalado, and lead-off batter Vargas put up a huge 5-0 lead.

The Golden Sox then shook off the stint of national team pitcher Kobe Torres in the fifth inning, converting bases-loaded situations into three more runs.

A booming hit from Steven Dominguez to the centerfield started it off for the UST side eventually leading to a huge 7-0 lead that stood a late UP rally.

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Reigning MVP Justine Rosales paced the UST offense on three-of-five hitting clip, two of which were doubles, and scored two of the Golden Sox’s runs.

Fighting Maroons captain and RP Blu Boys upstart Ian Mercado fueled the run from the home side in the sixth to eighth innings with three hits on five at-bats, but it was all too late as UST’s firepower already put up that insurmountable advantage.

“Pero ‘yun nga, nung nanlalamig na sila, do’n kami nadadali ng kalaban. It’s more psychological eh. Siguro don pag-uusapan pa namin ‘yung adjustments,” Santiago commented on what needs to be addressed moving forward.

The Line:

UST 0 5 0 0 3 4 1 0 2 – 15 14 4
UP 0 0 0 0 0 4 1 3 0 – 8 4 4

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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