La Salle still spotless in Philippine Baseball League
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 20, 2019 10:24 PM
Photo courtesy of Philippine Baseball League
Coming off an 11-8 win over IPPC a day ago, the De La Salle Green Batters heated up at the right time before romping the UP Fighting Maroons in just seven innings, 18-8, last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
With the win, the Green Batters are just one win away from an elimination round sweep in the Philippine Baseball League. In addition, La Salle clinched the top seed in the semifinals.
But for long-time La Salle head coach Joseph Orillana, he was just glad as the Green Batters stepped up after reigning UAAP Athlete of the Year Kiko Gesmundo suffered a shoulder injury.
"Masaya ako para sa team. Sabi ko sa kanila, kahit wala si Kiko, kailangan nila mag-step up. Hindi naman puwede na aasa lang kami sa seniors. Kanila na ito e," said Orillana as Gesmundo's first inning dive resulted to a shoulder sprain.
The Fighting Maroons, who are coming off their first win of the season last Saturday, were able to keep pace with the league-leaders -- even picking up a 5-4 lead in the fifth inning.
Errors, though, plagued UP at the bottom end of the inning while a 2-RBI single by left baseman Paolo Casas served as the go-ahead run.
It did not stop there as the Green Batters, who were already up 11-8 entering the seventh inning, punch in seven more runs - capped by Mark Tuballas' errand pitch that hit Diego Lozano with the bases loaded that resulted to the walk-off stoppage.
Tuwi Park was once again spectacular for La Salle, going 3-of-4 at-bat with five RBIs. Anton Acuna and Casas had three and two RBIs, respectively.
Graduating infielder Boo Borandiaran earned the win for La Salle, pitching the last two innings -- fanning two batters.
"Hopefully, sa UAAP magamit namin siya as pitcher," said Orillana as Barandiaran rarely pitched after his sophomore year. "Pinag-fofocus namin siya sa second [base], may times this season na magiging reliever siya. Hindi namin siya binibigla kasi galing siya sa injury."
Earlier in the day, the Ateneo Blue Eagles snapped their two-game skid after escaping the UST Golden Sox, 13-12.
Gino Tantuico connected on the first home run of the tournament during the first inning.
In the last game of the triple-header, the Adamson Soaring Falcons kept their semis hopes alive after blasting the NU Bulldogs in seven innings, 19-3.
Adamson will have to await the results of the games on Saturday, January 26 to see if it makes the Final Four.