For the second straight game, the De La Salle University Green Batters cruised to an easy victory, this time hammering the also-ran University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 10-4, Wednesday morning at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
This is La Salle’s fourth straight win, raising their record to a league-leading 7-1. With just one more win, the Green Batters will book their place in the Finals.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, yung last two games namin, we need to treat it as championship games,” said DLSU head coach Joseph Orillana. “One game at a time pa rin kami. If we win against Ateneo, less pressure na sa amin against Adamson. Yung sa Ateneo game namin, all out na kami. Makuha namin yun, at least magiging relax na rin kami.”
Just like in their game against the UST Golden Sox last Sunday, the Green Batters had 13 hits in the contest — far better than their outing against the NU Bulldogs a week ago.
“Nagkaroon kami ng adjustment sa training. Now, nakuha na naman nila yung kumpiyansa nila sa paluan,” added Orillana.
Kiko Gesmundo, who is one of the favorites to win the Most Valuable Player this season, opened up the scoring in the first inning, punching in a run due to a fielder’s choice. Pao Salud then connected on a triple to left field, bringing in two more runs in the next inning to put La Salle up 3-0.
UP was only able to get on board during the fifth inning sparked by a triple from subsititute DH Jayrick Lirio. A basehit by Juan Landicho, a throwing error, and a sac fly gave UP three runs to cut La Salle’s lead to two runs, 5-3.
La Salle though stormed right back in the next inning, scoring four more runs on four hits to put the game away for good.
“Maganda yung kumpyansa nila ngayon at the plate and our pitchers namin,” beamed Orillana.
Gesmundo led La Salle’s hitting with three while lead-off batter Salud had three RBIs. Jameson Esperas had two RBIs as well.
Boo Barandiaran was the game’s winning pitcher, surrending just four hits while sitting down four batters in six innings pitched.
Tyrone Malana of UP gave up four runs in the 3 1/3 innings he pitched.
UP fell to a 1-7 record, dead last in the six-team league.
La Salle will next face arch-rivals Ateneo Blue Eagles on Sunday, March 4. UP, on the other hand, plays its penultimate game of the season, taking on fellow also-ran squad UST Golden Sox in the last game of the day.