by Marisse Panaligan
The University of the Philippines suffered a close 2-1 setback from the hands of National University in the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman’s Baseball Classic Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The Maroons, who opened their campaign with a whopping 12-1 victory over Bulacan Agricultural State College, took their first loss in the double elimination format tournament.
UP drew first blood in the second inning as eighth batter Joaqui Silvestre landed a hit between the left and center field which brought James Legaspi back to the plate from third base.
At the bottom of the third, the NU loaded the bases after two successful hits and a free walk. With one hit through third base, third batter MJ Gante easily batted in two runs to turn around the score.
Maroon pitcher Gab Rodriguez managed to hold off the Bulldogs until the top of the sixth inning, but he left the mound after throwing a dead ball. Third baseman SJ San Juan relieved him and got the first strikeout for UP.
Legaspi got on base off a shortstop error at the top of the seventh for UP’s last chance on offense, but John Pantan’s hit to third saw the seasoned base runner tagged out en route to second base.
Seventh batter Gilbert Clanza got out on a caught foul tip, but it was enough to advance the runner to second.
Silvestre, who batted in the Maroons’ lone run in the second inning, attempted to replicate his earlier heroic but only managed a ground out to the pitcher which ended their late game rally.
UP has to win over De La Salle Zobel on Dec. 7 to stay alive in the tournament, while NU remains undefeated with two wins in two games.
Earlier, Adamson University bagged their second win via an 11-5 victory over Rizal Technological University.
Reigning UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University, meanwhile, fashioned an 8-3 upset over veteran team Philippine Navy in the afternoon match to also register their second win in two outings.