by Marisse Gabrielle Panaligan
Updated and corrected 9:22 p.m.
The University of the Philippines pulled off a bunt attack in the seventh inning to open their second round with a 12-6 victory over the Adamson University Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The Maroons, who converted 10 hits while keeping the Falcons to six, clutched their third win in the UAAP after fashioning out identical upsets against the National University and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in the first round.
The Falcons stayed dangerously close until the top of the fifth, when cleanup hitter Dave Dela Cruz singled to the right field to send Nelson Go back home and trimmed the lead to 5-4.
At the top of the seventh, Cesar Valencia put down a bunt which resulted in a run courtesy of a fielding error from Maroon third baseman SJ San Juan. Valencia then went home on a sacrifice fly to give the Falcons the lead, 5-6.
But that was the last time Adamson would score. Diego Gonzalez and Karl Peralta put down consecutive safety bunts to load the bases with Gino Aganon, who walked in four balls. Martin Senador then hit a hard grounder past third to tie the score.
Gonzalez crossed the plate on a pass ball to take the lead back for UP, 7-6. Adamson pitcher Raymond Matic let San Juan walk, choosing to face Maroon cleanup hitter Gilbert Clanza with no outs and a full base.
Clanza batted in two runs, which Mik Herrera duplicated after JC Pantan put down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third base.
Senador and Karl Peralta took the mound in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to get the outs for UP. The Maroons scored another run at the bottom of the eighth, and then closed the Falcons out at the top of the ninth.
UP is now on solo third (3-3), behind the defending champion Ateneo de Manila University (4-2) and the undefeated De La Salle University.
The Maroons will face the Tigers on Thursday in the second game.