NU wraps up UAAP baseball campaign with rout of Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines–National University ended its UAAP Season 85 Baseball tournament campaign with a rousing 11-3 rout of Ateneo on Saturday at UP Diliman Baseball Field.
UAAP Season 81 Best Pitcher, MJ Carolino, showed up with a no-relief nine-inning work, limiting the Blue Eagles to just one run on one hit in the first inning before the latter broke with two more in the seventh inning.
The senior pitcher finished with nine batters struck out in the process, putting the Bulldogs in fifth place at 4-6.
“Skills-wise, we have what it takes,” Bulldogs head coach Egay Delos Reyes said in Filipino. “But as you can see in our performance, we’re still lacking the mental aspect. It’s understandable because there are no other leagues to participate in. We lack exposure and these players are first-timers.”
“Hopefully, we learned something from this season so that we can be contenders again next season,” he continued.
Carolino’s confidence on the mound was fueled by NU’s turns on the offensive side that produced runs in four of the nine innings, including a huge fourth-inning barrage that started off with graduating leftfielder Reynante Aranzano’s hit to the middle of the park.
First baseman Keishi Okamoto then sent a base hit along the leftfield foul line to extend the two-run lead to four, scoring Aranzanso and designated hitter Julius Soriano. Rightfielder Nigel Paule and Kevin Maulit added two more to mount a 6-0 advantage.
Okamoto ended with a four-hit-on-five-at-bat performance that also drove four of the Bulldogs’ 11 runs. Maulit added two hits on three at-bats and sent three of his batter-runners home, even scoring thrice himself in the third, fourth, and sixth innings.
The Blue Eagles needed three pitchers to stop the Bulldogs, but it was Luis Casanova that eventually impeded the NU rally with just three runs in the three innings he pitched in relief of Ethan Mitschieneer.
Ateneo finished sixth with a 2-8 win-loss card, ending the season with eight straight losses. This is the Blue Eagles’ worst finish since Season 72.
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