In a heated affair, the Adamson University Soaring Falcons were able to strike lightning twice, picking up an all-important 4-3 victory over defending champions Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, to close out Wednesday’s action at the historic Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The win is the Soaring Falcons’ fourth straight victory, lifting their record to 6-2 for solo second. Moreover, it was a pivotal win, as they were able to gain a one-game cushion over the Blue Eagles, who now sit at third with a 5-3 slate.
“Hindi pa kami kuntento. Magsasaya lang kami kapag nasa championship na kami. Sana tuloy-tuloy na ito hanggang La Salle game namin,” said Adamson head coach Orlando Binarao.
The Blue Eagles started the game like a house on fire against Adamson starting pitcher Erwin Bosito.
During the second inning, Kiko Andaya slammed an over-the-park home run to open the game’s scoring. Next batter Enrico Untalan was hit by a pitch, and a base hit by Gio Salvatierra followed suit that forced Binarao to remove Bosito from the mound.
“Actually, si Bosito, solid yung tama ng Ateneo sa kanila. Pero nakaplano na talaga na kapag nag-collapse si Bosito, [Lexter] Carandang at [Jerome] Yenson na ipapasok ko,” reflected the Adamson legend.
Untalan was able to score a run afterwards. Designated hitter Ryan Hilario knocked one out as well in the third inning to give the Blue Eagles a 3-0 lead.
However, the breaks of the game turned to the Soaring Falcons afterwards.
The Soaring Falcons were able to get two back at the bottom end of the third, courtesy of a Bryan Castillo single and an Bosito triple — the latter scoring on a fielder’s choice attempt.
In the fifth inning, Bosito was able to connect, but a collission Gio Salvatierra. As Bosito moved back, Ateneo’s first baseman tried to tag him out but was nullified by the umpire’s saying that a timeout had ensued.
“Nag-time out yung runner ko nun kaya lumabas siya. Automatic kasi yung na kapag may collision time out yun. Siguro hindi lang napansin ng Ateneo,” opined Binarao about the confusion.
After stealing second and third, Bosito was able to punch in the tying run due to a fielder’s choice.
Holding off a furious attempt by the Blue Eagles at the top of the seventh inning, a two-out single by Yenson brought home Castillo for the go-ahead point.
Yenson and the Soaring Falcons would then hold on in the final two innings to complete the sweep.
“Buti na-hold ni Yenson,” shared Binarao. “Buti nga nakuha namin itong Ateneo nung second round. Yung mga boys ayaw talaga nilang makabawi yung Ateneo. Naglaro sila with intensity kumbaga.”
Bosito, Yenson, and Castillo all had two hits for Adamson.
Marquis Alindogan, who played the role of Ateneo’s lead-off batter for the second straight game as Radito Banzon is still nursing a bum ankle, paced Ateneo with two hits.
Unlike in their last encounter, Paulo Macasaet pitched all nine innings.
Adamson will next face the National University Bulldogs on Sunday, March 4, while Ateneo take on archrivals De La Salle Universit Green Batters on the same day. A loss by the Blue Eagles and a win by the Soaring Falcons automatically gives Adamson and La Salle their Finals tickets.
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