Blue Batters survive late rally by UP to stay unbeaten
Anton Roxas on Jan 30, 2015 03:48 PM
Defending UAAP baseball champion Ateneo de Manila University survived a slow start to turn back the University of the Philippines, 8-5, to remain unbeaten after two games.
The second day of the UAAP Season 77 Baseball tournament took place on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium where Ateneo de Manila University faced off against fellow Katipunan-based school, the University of the Philippines.
What followed was an 8-5 victory on favor of the Blue Batters, who recorded their second straight win in as many games.
However, the win did not come easily as the Fighting Maroons scored two runs in the very first inning.
That’s when the two-time defending champions responded.
"When UP scored two runs right away, we came back with three runs. That’s composure. I told them (the players), ‘We’ll fight it inning by inning. Let’s win all the innings,’" said Ateneo Head Coach Randy Dizer.
After a scoreless second inning for both teams, the Blue Batters managed to add two more runs at the bottom of the third for a 5-2 lead.
In the fourth inning, Dio Remollo registered an RBI double, sending Matt Laurel home via a flyball towards left field.
Laurel would later push Ateneo’s number of runs to eight in the seventh inning by successfully stealing home all the way from 2nd base after a catching error committed by UP.
With a comfortable 8-2 lead, the Blue Batters relaxed, and committed a couple of catching errors in the eighth inning, allowing UP to get back on the board as they tallied two runs.
In the ninth and final inning Dizer decided to call a crucial timeout to motivate his players to finish the job.
At that point of the game, rookie pitcher Paolo Macasaet was on the mound for Ateneo.
"(I told them) that we we’re up by four. With the speed of Paolo’s ball and darkness is coming in, I don’t think they stand a chance. Mahihirapan sila eh."
"Even when they scored the two runs, confident ako. Sabi ko, ‘Let them score. Don’t mind the runners, let’s go for the batter."
The strategy worked as the Blue Batters eventually sealed the win by putting out the batter on first despite UP being able to score one last run at the top of the ninth.
In the games that took place earlier, National University shocked De La Salle University, 8-7 while the University of Sto. Tomas edged Adamson University, 12-10.
The UAAP Season 77 Baseball tournament resumes on Sunday, February 1, 2015 at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium with the following schedule:
7:00 A.M. – UST (2-0) vs. ADMU (2-0)
10:30 A.M. – UP (0-2) vs. NU (1-1)
2:30 P.M. – DLSU (1-1) vs. AdU (1-1)