Blue Batters open title defense on winning note

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 25, 2015 11:46 AM
Blue Batters open title defense on winning note
Back-to-back champions Ateneo de Manila University Blue Batters opened their title defense successfully by enduring the very game Adamson University Soaring Falcons, 5-3, on Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Back-to-back champion Ateneo de Manila University opened its title defense successfully by enduring a very game Adamson University, 5-3, on opening day of the UAAP 77 Baseball Tournament on Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Blue Batters clinched the win via a strong second inning when they peppered Falcons starting pitcher Marvin Camposanto for three runs. The reigning titlists then added two more runs from Esguerra and left fielder Raphael Balagtas to go up 3-0 on the Soaring Falcons. With such a poor start, Camposanto lasted for only an inning and two-thirds before being replaced by lefty pitcher Lourence Ruiz.

Ruiz surrendered another run to shortstop Adriane Bernardo before finally stopping the bleeding for Adamson. Down 4-0, the Soaring Falcons offense finally came alive in the fifth inning.

Ateneo starting pitcher Andy Tan threw four shutout innings before being replaced by Nacho Cojuangco. The reliever was immediately roughed up by designated hitter Ruiz and catcher Eric Gesmundo’s RBI singles to trim the deficit to 4-2.

With Ruiz at third, a fielding error by Ateneo awarded the Soaring Falcons another run for a 4-3 score. Cojuangco finally escaped his fifth inning jam by striking out center fielder Erwin Bosito.

There were no other markers until the top of the eighth when Ateneo scored an insurance run. With Adamson threatening an upset, Balagtas was hit by Ruiz' pitch and walked to first. Leadoff man Bernardo  next hit a single before an infield error pushed him and Balagtas to second and third, respectively. Second baseman Paolo Untalan’s RBI single then sent Balagtas to home and lifted Ateneo to 5-3.

The Blue Batters finished the job by blanking the Soaring Falcons in the last two innings to clinch their first win of the season. “It’s a win and we’ll take it, but I wasn’t expecting my boys to play like this. Hopefully, we can adjust for our next game,” Blue Batter coach Randy Dizer told ABS-CBN Sports.

Dizer's boys will go for win number two on Thursday against the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons while the Soaring Falcons battle the University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers. Games start at 7:00 AM still at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

In other results, Season 76 runner-up De La Salle University ripped University of the Philippinies, 19-5, aftr seven innnings while University of Santo Tomas beat NU, 8-3.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.


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