by Marisse Gabrielle Panaligan
The University of the Philippines stayed alive in the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman’s Baseball Classic after a 17-0 rampage over De La Salle Zobel and a 7-7 deadlock in nine innings against the Philippine Air Force this weekend.
UP retired the sides quickly against high school team Zobel with a no hitter performance off pitchers Gab Rodriguez and Miguel Herrera on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The Maroons then converted four hits to push themselves ahead at the bottom of the first inning with four runs. They continued the onslaught in the second, garnering 10 runs including a two-run homer by designated hitter (DH) James Legaspi.
UP scored three more runs before the game was called at the top of the fifth under the mercy rule to notch their second win in three outings of the double elimination tournament.
In the Sunday game, the Maroons found themselves down by 6-1 in four and a half innings against the veteran Air Force.
Third baseman SJ San Juan went to the mound to relieve Rodriguez and Miguel Herrera, who both failed to hold off the Airmen batters.
After San Juan stopped the bleeding on defense, UP’s offense started to come together at the bottom of the fifth. They scored four runs off a Karl Peralta triple, Mik Herrera’s double, and a two-run double for Gilbert Clanza.
In the sixth inning, UP tied the score after Gerron Sagarang drilled a triple which sent Joaqui Silvestre back home.
Both teams then went scoreless in the next two innings, before scoring one run each in the ninth.
Edmer Del Socorro crossed the plate after Ernesto Binarao popped a sacrifice fly to the left field for Air Force, while clean-up hitter Mik Herrera cruised Peralta home from third with a hit to center.
An extra inning will be played on Friday to determine which team will advance to the next round.