National University leaned on two huge offensive innings to avenge its first-round loss to Adamson University with a 9-1 rout to snap a three-game losing skid in the UAAP Season 85 Baseball tournament on Tuesday, Apr. 4, at the UP Diliman Baseball Field.
Leading by just three at 4-1 heading into the sixth inning, the Bulldogs made sure to secure the win this time by scoring five runs in the said frame and avenging the 8-10 defeat they suffered at the hands of the same team on March 26.
NU third baseman Gio Gorpido sent a strong hit to left field to score both his centerfielder, Kenneth Maulit, and shortstop, Cyril Antipolo, home to start off the scoring binge. Gorpido eventually crossed the plate himself on a fielder’s choice with right fielder Nigel Paule taking the putout on second on his behalf.
Two more runs from Reynante Aranzanso, who batted for designated hitter Nico Calanday, and second baseman Kevin Maulit knotted the eventual final score that sent the Bulldogs to a share of fourth place with the University of Santo Tomas at 3-5.
For NU coach Egay Delos Reyes, it was on defense that his wards sealed the win, saying, “Yung game kasi namin today, we did well sa defense. Kasi yung past few games namin, naging problema namin is bumibigay kami sa depensa.”
“You know our situation (sa standings), so we just enjoyed it and just see what we can do,” he added.
The Bulldogs indeed made the Soaring Falcons work, limiting the Adamson offense to a single run in the fifth inning.
Third baseman Aaron Mercado drove in a single to shallow left field and just past Antipolo for his team’s first hit of the game. He then scored the Soaring Falcons’ only run as NU’s MJ Carolino, the UAAP Season 81 Best Pitcher, anchored the Bulldogs’ defense to stop any further damage.
Carolino had no-relief performance on the mound, limiting the Soaring Falcons to that Mercado run and four hits, striking out seven batters he faced.
On the other hand, Adamson starting pitcher Dan Rommel Bacalla bore the weight of the fourth- and sixth-inning barrages from the Bulldogs before relief pitchers Raymond Matic and King Viterbo stopped the bleeding to one run and one hit from the sixth to the ninth innings.