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National University overcame an early deficit to take down University of Santo Tomas, 9-3, for its first win of the UAAP Season 85 Baseball tournament, Sunday, Mar. 19, at the UP Diliman Baseball Field.
After giving up two runs at the bottom of the first inning to the Golden Sox to go down 1-2, the Bulldogs scored three runs in the second and four runs in the sixth to ensure their breakthrough win for a 1-2 win-loss slate.
Nigel Paule crossed the plate thrice in the first, second, and sixth innings to pace the NU onslaught, while Kent Altajeros also scored twice and drove in two hits in the same period.
The win, though, was fueled by its defense that was anchored on its man on the mound, pitcher Amiel De Guzman.
“Nung first two games namin kinapos kami, so this game yung aggressiveness namin natuluy-tuloy kaya nakuha namin tong panalo,” coach Egay Delos Reyes said.
“Ang key dito was the pitcher. Nung first two games, nagtitimpla pa kami, pero kailangan namin ‘tong game na ‘to, kaya we put in one of our best pitchers.”
UST, who now slipped to 0-3, started well with two runs in the first with Jayvee Selda and John Mark Barsales reaching home on a triple from Cerda.
Designated hitter Alwyn Piñero was the lone bright spot for the UST offense after going two-for-four on the plate.
Three pitchers were called up by UST coach Jeff Santiago with relief pitcher Barsales getting much of the damage, allowing the Bulldogs to go ahead in the second on three runs in three hits with eight batters faced — seven of them in the said frame. Jhon Regalado started the game, while Irvin Llave bore the weight of the sixth-inning barrage.
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