Adamson University ended the first round on a high note by fashioning a 10-8 comeback victory over National University in its second straight win of the UAAP Season 85 Baseball tournament on Sunday, Mar. 26, at the UP Diliman Baseball Stadium.
The Soaring Falcons, who improved to 3-2, remained in solo third and just one game behind co-leaders University of the Philippines and De La Salle University, both of which are at 4-1.
Adamson relied on a huge eighth-inning rally to turn the game around after going down 4-6 heading into the said frame. Starting rightfielder Raymond Nerosa and leftfielder Kean Matanguihan crossed the plate to tie the game before a two-RBI triple from centerfielder Bryan Castillo scored pinch hitter Kier Plaza and second baseman Kent Reyes to extend the lead to 10-6, which turned out to be the final count.
It was a nip-and-tuck affair, but captain Andrei Medrana stood his ground on the mound for the Falcons, allowing NU just three runs in the three and two-third innings he pitched in a relief effort. Nerosa then closed it out after retiring three of the last five batters he faced.
Soaring Falcons head coach Orlando Binarao, however, wants to see more from his wards despite the win, saying, “I thought we were going to lose, so I’m not satisfied with the game. Because the errors that started before came out again. Also, in the innings, I’m not still comfortable, even if we were ahead by two.”
Those errors led to an early lead for NU, which it was able to extend to two at 6-4 with two runs at the bottom of the seventh inning after a home run from rightfielder Nigel Paule scored second baseman Kenneth Maulit.
That turned out to be the last bite from the Bulldogs, as the Soaring Falcons snagged the lead and the eventual win in the next inning.
Aside from the two-RBI homer from Paule, Maulit also added two hits on four at-bats to lead NU’s offense. Relief pitcher MJ Carolino, however, took a blow in that six-run eighth, allowing eight of the 10 Adamson runs on 10 hits allowed.
The second round will begin on Wednesday at the same venue.