University of Santo Tomas continued its turnaround in the UAAP Season 82 Juniors Baseball Tournament, handing National University-Nazareth School its first defeat in five games, 8-0, Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
Coming off a 0-2 start, the Junior Golden Sox racked up their third straight win to create a tie for second with Ateneo, who defeated De La Salle-Zobel earlier in the day 9-3.
“Ang pinaka nag-iba sa amin is ‘yung adjustment sa taya at sa ikot ng tao. As I said, batang team ito at kaunti pa lang ‘yung games namin na makakasama. Kahit ako nangapa pa,” admitted UST head coach Jeffrey Santiago.
Paving the way for UST’s win was pitcher Kenth Porras, who pitched a full game. The native of Talisay, Negros Occidental allowed just four hits while striking out two batters.
Both of his strikeouts came when NU threatened during the sixth inning.
On the other hand, previously-elusive NU pitcher Nico Calanday was peppered by the UST batters in the second inning, resulting in three runs on three hits.
Not even a one-hour rain delay after the second stanza could stop the UST rampage, pinching in eight more runs — all but one was earned.
Alwyn Pinero had two hits in the game and an RBI to power UST’s offense.
Meanwhile, Marcel Guzman went 2-of-4 at-bat four Ateneo, resulting in two RBIs. Kean Agcaoili also had two RBIs, as the Blue Eagles had eight hits versus the Junior Green Batters.
Ateneo pitcher Zach Urbina pitched five innings, tallying five strikeouts.
“Every game counts now. We have to win every game,” said Ateneo baseball program director Randy Dizer. “It’s still anybody’s ballgame dahil only two can make it to the Finals.”
It did not help that La Salle-Zobel had five errors.
La Salle-Zobel dropped to 0-5.