UAAP MVP Miguel Salud tossed a one-hitter as Muntinlupa smothered hometown team Tanauan City, 12-2, and retained the Big League Baseball crown before a stunned crowd on Monday in the Little League Philippine Series 2013 in Barangay Sala in Tanauan City, Batangas.
Salud fanned six batters while going four-for-four with four runs batted in as Muntinlupa silenced the huge group home crowd that brought a marching band to the stands.
"Everybody was confident in this crucial game. We have the reigning UAAP MVP (Salud) in partnership with his catcher at Ateneo (Dio Remollo) and he was prepared to pitch seven innings. Everybody in the team played well and executed the instructions," said Muntinlupa Little League president and Big League team manager Felipe Remollo.
Muntinlupa joined the champions in the other divisions – Iloilo in Little League Softball and Junior League Softball and reigning Big League Softball world queens Manila – in the Asia-Pacific Series in June.
Muntinlupa turned Tanauan's dream run into a nightmarish ending. Tanauan breezed through the elims with 6-0 card, including an 8-0 shutout of Muntinlupa only to lose in the all-important finale.
"That (elims game) was really a getting-to-know-them stage. After that game, we already knew their weaknesses as well as ours and made the adjustments," said Remollo.
The Muntinlupa batters yielded two early runs off the only hit issued by Salud but made it a one-sided affair after that.
Salud drove in Francisco Hashimoto with a double and later reached the plate off a base-hit by Franklin Stewart to knot the count in the bottom second.
Muntinlupa unloaded six runs off four hits in the second, including three RBI by John Filart and one by Salud, to rip the game apart, 8-2, and leave no doubt as to who's the boss in the 17-18 division.
Tanauan City suffered a double whammy when its Senior League Baseball team suffered a 2-8 setback to semifinal rival International Little League Association of Manila (ILLAM) to vacate the throne in the 15-16 division.
Marikina trounced Muntinlupa, 11-9, to grab the other final berth.