fbpx
Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]

UST roars to comeback opening win against UP

Published

on

The University of Santo Tomas Golden Sox carved a come-from-behind win against tournament favorites University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 5-4, to open their season on a high note, Thursday morning at Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

After the Maroon defense, anchored on veteran pitcher Gab Rodriguez, held the Tigers to nil, last year’s bronze medalists got to work on offense. Rookie Mark Tuballas and senior James Legaspi got on base for a potential breakthrough run. UST then dismissed the next two batters, before an error by second baseman Jayrome Kimilat conceded two runs.

The Maroons added a run in their side of the third inning after UP Team Captain SJ San Juan drove in his team’s first hit of the day. Another hit by second-year right fielder Emil Fernandez scored his skipper to push the lead to 3-0. This offensive play forced UST Head Coach Jeffrey Santiago to send in third-year left-handed pitcher Lesmar Ventura in lieu of rookie Jackson Acuña. This pitching change was crucial, as Ventura fanned Gino Aganon after surrendering a walk.

Both defenses held in the fourth inning before the España-based batters started their comeback trail. UST skipper Ariel Aligno finally broke Rodriguez’ solid pitching, before Julius Diaz hit a booming triple to the left field as the former crossed the plate to cut the deficit to two, 1-3. Diaz then scored on the following play after a Marlon Gonzales base hit to get to within one of the Fighting Maroons.

Buoyed by the offensive rhythm of his teammates, Ventura then held off UP in the next three innings, sending five batters packing in the process. On their turn at-bat, the Thomasians carved in another run to level the match at 3 runs. At the top of the sixth inning, substitutes Christian Dela Cruz and Kirk Daquis carved in hits to set the stage for the tying run. Another base hit off Christian Mercado then scored Dela Cruz for their team’s third. With the score tied, the Maroons punctuated the inning with a quick 6-4-3 double play to retire Mercado and Aligno.

At the following inning, UST finally registered their go-ahead run. Gio Martinez fired a hit into deep center field and scored Diaz to wrestle the lead in favor of the Tigers. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Maroons levelled the game once more during their side of the inning. Super-senior James Legaspi pulled off his lone hit of the day, and San Juan blasted the ball near the first base foul line to score the former. From there, Ventura fanned the next two batters and denied UP another run.

Clean-up batter Dela Cruz took Rodriguez’ first pitch and sent it to the center field once more for a double, to finally remove the UP pitcher out of the mound. UST then took advantage of the change, as a walk and another Mercado hit ultimately got the go-ahead run for the Tigers. UST threatened to score insurance runs with runners on the corners, but UP right fielder Emil Fernandez made a wonderful catch to finish the inning.

With pressure on UP’s side, Ventura took matters on his own hands, as the junior relief pitcher retired one batter after another. After easily disposing five batters, Legaspi tried for a last gasp attempt for a two-out rally with UP captain, last year’s Best Hitter, San Juan on deck. Ventura then pulled off his best pitch of the day, taking the veteran Maroon as his 13th victim on the mound.

When asked about his performance, Ventura was quick to say, “Di ko inisip yung pressure, relax lang talaga at keep the gameplan.” The UST junior also kept himself ready to be called up anytime. “Ready lang po kami kasi si coach (Jeffrey Santiago) sinasabi lang niya kung sino nagsta-start pag nandito na kami. Kung baga lahat ng pitchers kailangan ready. Rookie kasi si [Jackson] Acuña, kami ready kaming mga seniors.”

On their part, UP Head Coach Anthony Dizer believed that this result serves as wake up call for the Maroons and that his wards can turn this around. He said, “This is just the first game, we will come back. Next game La Salle, hopefully we take that one to get us back.” Dizer expressed that they hope to address their in-game miscues in order to counter title-favorites La Salle.

On Sunday, the UST Golden Sox will face the Adamson Soaring Falcons, while the UP Fighting Maroons will test their mettle against the De La Salle Green Batters. 

Scoreboard:

TEAM

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

UST

0

0

0

0

2

1

1

1

0

5

11

4

UP

2

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

4

4

0

Advertisements

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

Advertisement
Comments

Trending