Coming off a stunning 1-7 loss to the UP Fighting Maroons last weekend, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Sox refused to suffer another upset, utilizing a huge 5th inning to rout the NU Bulldogs, 11-4, Wednesday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
With the win, UST kept pace with La Salle in the UAAP Season 81 Baseball standings with both teams sporting a twin 4-2 slate.
But UST head coach Jeffrey Santiago did not mince his words about his disappointment in his team’s lack of desire during the last two games.
“Chamba lang yung inning na yun. Chamba lang tong panalo na ‘to,” the UST great lamented. “Eh ganun pa rin yung palo ng mga bata, hindi pa rin nagbago. Bukas, tuloy-tuloy lang kami, focus kami sa palo dahil nag-detoriate ang hitting. Bumababa performance namin.”
UST’s potent offense could not string together hits during the first four innings. Though they were able to connect against Joseph Carolino five times, none could pave the way for a run as UST faced a 0-1 early deficit.
“Psychological yan. Masyado ata yumabang nung nanalo sa La Salle. Nag-relax, ganun yun,” Santiago furthered.
Rookie first baseman Vince Mangapis provided the much-needed spark for UST, connecting on a single during a furious fifth inning for the Golden Sox. After the next batter was hit by a pitch, Carolino was retired from the contest in favor of Angelo Espinosa – also a rookie.
It only took two at-bats before Egay Delos Reyes would pull out Espinosa for Aeron Lirion. The UST batters then unleashed a flurry, easily blasting his pitches for an eight-run, four-hit inning.
Mark Beronilla had two RBIs in the contest, while Benedict Pedracio and Ron dela Cruz had four and three hits, respectively.
Ron Dela Cruz – who replaced winning pitcher Ian Llave – closed out the final two innings. Though Clarion Santos popped a two-RBI triple in the eighth inning and Jerome Tenorio brought home a runner later on, Dela Cruz was able to seal off the Bulldogs, who suffered their fifth loss in six games.
UST will next face the University of the Philippines on Sunday, March 10. And Santiago hopes his boys will not let their guards down as they did during their first round encounter.
“Next game, sana makabawi sa UP. Sana focused sila at makuha sa bulyaw.”
On the other hand NU face the De La Salle University on the same day.
NU – 100 000 210 – 4 6 2
UST – 000 080 001 – 11 13 4