Eagles keep UAAP baseball plum, repel Archers
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - February 19, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Ateneo banked on the solid pitching of rookie Miguel Dumlao while its hitters delivered on their end to drub La Salle, 8-3, and retain the UAAP Season 76 baseball diadem before a sizeable crowd at Rizal Memorial Stadium yesterday.

Dumlao shut out the Green Archers in the first six innings as Matt Laurel and their batters powered the Blue Eagles to an 8-0 lead to set the tone for their title-clinching Game Two victory. The Ateneans took Game One in 10 innings last Friday, 10-8.

In softball action, unbeaten defending champion Adamson exploded with eight runs sparked by Clariz Palma’s grand slam in the final inning to score an 11-3 win over National U. The Lady Falcons have won their 47th straight game dating back to 2010 and could wrap up their fourth consecutive crown with another win on Friday.

“We did it. The championship experience of the team gave us a huge lift,” said Ateneo coach Randy Dizer.

Dumlao, the eventual Rookie of the Year awardee, played like a veteran, too, as he held the Archers scoreless most of the way before Nacho Cojuanco and eventual MVP Andy Tan closed it out for the champions. Tan yielded three runs off five hits in his extended stint, including a solo home run to Carlos Muñoz in the seventh. 

“Dumlao was supposed to pitch for three innings then we’d go with Cojuanco and Tan. He held his own and we’re able to stick to our rotation especially after we got a cushion,” Dizer said.

The Eagles drew first blood with an error-aided run by Laurel in the first inning then they doubled the lead with a run-scoring extra-base hit by Pelos Remollo in the next and made it 3-0 off Ryon Tionloc’s sacrifice fly in the third.

The Ateneans widened the gap with a four-run spree in the fourth. Adrian Bernardo drove in Inigo Untalan with a single afterwhich Laurel blasted a double to score Bernardo and Remollo. Laurel reached the plate off a passed ball to extend Ateneo’s lead to 7-0. This became 8-0 two innings later via Dio Remollo’s RBI double.

Ateneo caught a break defensively in the second inning where they thwarted La Salle in a bases-loaded situation.

“Full-bases and no out and yet we’re able to stop it (scoring opportunity for La Salle). That’s the break of the game,” said Dizer.

Aside from MVP honors, Tan also took home the Best Pitcher plum while teammate Laurel secured Best Slugger and Most Home Runs plum and shared Most Stolen Bases award with Alfredo Olivarez of NU, and Basti Uichico and Muñoz of DLSU. Muñoz was also feted with Best Hitter honors.

Adamson broke out of a 3-3 standoff in its final turn at bat, pouncing on Palma’s pivotal grand slam to secure the triumph and to close in on the title.

The Lady Falcons enjoy thrice-to-beat advantage in the finals after sweeping the elims.

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