UAAP Season 81: Escaño lifts DLSU in baseball Finals series opener
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 29, 2019 04:50 PM
De La Salle University inched closer to reclaiming the UAAP baseball crown after besting Ateneo de Manila University in Game 1 of the best-of-three Finals.
(Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium)
8:30 a.m. – UST vs AdU (Softball Finals)
12:00 noon – Ateneo vs DLSU (Baseball Finals)
Iggy Escaño blasted a three-run homer in the bottom eighth and De La Salle University weathered Gino Tantuico's grand slam home run in the ninth inning to beat Ateneo de Manila University, 9-7, in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 baseball tournament at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
Escaño's homerun sent Diego Lozano and Boo Barandiaran home to give the Green Batters an 8-2 lead in the bottom eighth.
Kiko Gesmundo then scored another run to gain the needed separation before the Blue Eagles made a last ditch stand.
With bases loaded, Tantuico nailed the homer to cut the deficit to 7-9 before Ateneo fell short on its fightback.
De La Salle, who lost the title last year, shoots for its third title overall in Game 2 slated at 12:00 noon on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Adamson University subdued University of Sto. Tomas, 11-2, in just four innings to move on the cusp of annexing its ninth straight championship.
Pitcher Lyca Basa fanned out four batters to help the Lady Falcons, who scored nine runs in the opening inning, seize the 1-0 series lead.
"Actually noong first inning, noong una silang pumalo (Tigresses), medyo naging shaky si Basa," said Adamson University coach Ana Santiago.
"Mabuti na lang at nakabalik siya. Maganda yung pitching niya and at the same time, mainit yung first inning namin. Yun ang nag-survive sa amin. Ang sabi ko sa kanila, kailangan lang natin ng one big inning para manalo," she added.
The rookies also delivered the goods for the Lady Falcons, with MJ Maguad producing three RBIs and two hits, and Clariz Lozada contributing two RBIs.
"Yun ang mga rookie ngayon, maganda at nag-step up sila. Yun ang kailangan ng team namin," said Santiago. "Nakikita mo na lumalaban sila. Talagang gagawin nila ang lahat para makatulong sa team."
Arianne Vallestero also had two of her team's eight hits.
Adamson guns for its 18th title overall in Game 2 slated at 8:30 a.m., on Tuesday at the same Malate venue.
Trishia Tiozon was the lone bright spot for UST with two RBIs, all in the third inning.The Tigresses' rookie pitcher Celyn Ojare struggled big time in the 1/3 innings she pitched.