Defending champion De La Salle University leaned on the heroics of pitcher Lord Aragorn De Vera to fashion another come-from-behind victory, dealing Adamson University a 9-6 decision for its second straight win in the UAAP Season 85 Baseball tournament on Sunday, Mar. 19, at the UP Diliman Baseball Field.
With the game tied at five heading into the bottom of the sixth, De La Salle unleashed a huge four-run inning that turned out to be the difference.
De Vera, who had been pitching well, sent a well-placed delivery to deep right-center to score both John Mhark Segui and Julius Diaz to extend the advantage to three at 8-5. He then crossed the plate himself with Iggy Escaño at-bat for the eventual final score.
“Laging ganon nga yung nangyayari. Kailangan maka-score muna yung kalaban bago kami magising. Antagal mag-spark. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, kailangan start pa lang kasi mahirap maghabol ‘eh,” Green Batters’ coach Joseph Orillana said of another comeback win.
De Vera manned the mound for four innings, keeping Adamson scoreless in the fifth to eighth frames and limiting the opponents to four hits after taking over from Vincent Flores, who started the game for the Green Batters.
Renato Samuel Jr. eventually closed the game with a run allowed but dismissed two batters, including the last out.
Orillana has nothing but confidence in this first-year upstart.
He said, “Sabi ko nga si Agorn is isa sa mga key players ko, fighter talaga. Sa defense, sa pitching, sa hitting, hindi magpapaiwan. Kaya looking forward ako kay Agorn na siya yung pamatay-sunog ko talaga.”
De Vera ended with two RBIs and a run, while senior third baseman Escaño went two-for-five and also scored a run.
The Green Batters took a share of second place at 2-1, while the Soaring Falcons fell to their second consecutive loss at 1-2.
Adamson went out of the gates blazing with Kean Matanguihan, John Matanguihan, and Mark Manaig crossing the plate in the first inning.
Another run in the third off Mata and in the ninth off J Matanguihan was all the squad could manage as they absorbed another sorry defeat.
De La Salle spoiled Matic’s .500 batting average and Mata’s one-run and one-hit performance. Pitchers Raymond Nerosa and Matic combinedly needed to absorb the nine-run and five-hit binge from the Green Batters.