THE De La Salle Green Batters started their title defense on a high note as they demolished the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 19-1, in the UAAP Season 79 baseball tournament last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
The Green Batters capitalized on the Maroons’ erratic fifth inning where La Salle scored seven runs leading to a comfortable 14-0 lead.
UP’s Javier Banzon broke the scoring drought in seventh inning after a long ball by Joseph Cinco, but the 19-1 lead after the seventh inning was too big to overcome as the match ended via mercy rule.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, ‘We need to start strong, we need to finish strong.’ No looking back na. Basta pag naglaro ka diyan tuloy-tuloy lang,” Green Batters head coach Joseph Orillana said.
Orillana lauded the efforts of outfielder Paulo Salud as he made great catches during the match.
“Ang lagi ko sinasabi sa kanya, ‘Ang range ng outfield dapat three seconds lang, front, side, back makukuha mo yun. Importante ‘yan mas lalo na sa do-or-die scenarios,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ateneo Blue Eagles also started their campaign to regain the crown by drubbing the University of Santo Tomas Golden Sox, 12-2.
The Blue Eagles banked on a strong third inning as they scored four straight runs led by Conrado Banzon.
Ateneo pitcher Juan Paolo Macasaet stopped the Sox in their tracks as he struck out seven batters.
“They were able to hit but I kept on telling the kids na kailangan they need to show ‘yung flawlessness," Ateneo baseball program director Randy Dizer said.
Earlier, the National University Bulldogs also downed Adamson, 7-5.