Don’t look now but Adamson University has taken another step closer to sweeping both the UAAP Men’s Baseball and Women’ s Softball Championships early this week.
The Falcons outlasted defending baseball champion Ateneo, 4-3, Wednesday to strengthen their chance of making it to the gold medal play in baseball at the historic eight-decade-old Rizal Memorial ballpark.
Two days earlier Monday, the Lady Falcons repeated over University of Santo Tomas, 2-1, in a softball classic marked by an epic pitching duel between the league’s and the country’s top hurlers Lyca Basa of Adamson and Mary Ann of UST, also at the oldest stadium in Asia built in 1934 as home to the now-defunct Far Eastern Games, to seal their place in the semifinal round.
Baseball tournament format calls for the top to squads after the two-round eliminations battling for all the marbles in a best-of-three title series. Winner of the softball tilt will have to be decided by a longer route that will see the best four teams in the qualifying phase playing in the semifinals to decide the two finalists.
To beat the Eagles twice in-a-row this season, the Falcons had go maximize the use of their three-pitcher rotation starting with Erwin Bosito, Lester Carandang and ace Jerome Yenson, who matched the seven-hit performance of Paulo Macasaet who manned the mound without relief for Ateneo.
The Falcons had the contest wrapped up at the bottom of the seventh inning when Yenson, who took over the mound from Carandang at the top of the fourth, showed he, too, can be depended upon on offense by singling in shortstop Bryan Castillo, for the winning run.
Castillo led off the period by tagging Macasaet with a base-hit, took second on a sacrifice bunt by Bosito and crossed the plate from there on that Yenson RBI.
Yenson’s run-producing hit broke a 3-all deadlock forged two frames earlier by catcher John Maigue’s sacrifice fly to center sending Bosito, who took first on a fielding error of Ateneo first baseman and stole second and third, home.
The Eagles took control after two and-a-half innings, 3-0, on three hits highlighted by solo home run each by shortstop Roque Andaya and designated hitter Christopher Hilario.
Adamson’s win, it’s sixth in eight times up catapulted the Falcons to second place behind La Salle Green Archers’ league-leading 7-1. Erstwhile second-running Ateneo, dropped to 5-3 in third.
The Archers peppered University of the Philippines (1-7) with 13 hits en route to a 10-4 rout, while National University mangled University of Santo Tomas, 15-5, for its only second victory in eight outings. The Tigers skidded to 3-5.
The already qualified Lady Falcons, meanwhile, were scheduled to play the Lacy Bulldogs in a no-bearing game Thursday in the women’s softball action batting for their 10th triumph against a lone loss.
Other softball action Thursday that, hopefully, would have shape up the race for the remaining three semis seats would have pitted the Lady Maroons against the Lady Eagles and the Tigresses against the Lady Warriors.