Then, in the sixth inning, the Bulls put three runs on the board on their way to a 7-4 victory over the Dumaguete Uni-bikers last June 19.
Justin Zialcita banged the go-ahead run before Romeo Jasmin pitched a solid relief job as the Bulls clinched a semifinal berth with the victory over the Uni-bikers.
Zialcita belted a long drive to deep right field to send home Carlo Banzon, who earlier tied the game on a single to advance Vincent Ching and Randy De Leon.
Jasmin, meanwhile, yielded only a hit after that three-run binge to send Batangas to its fifth win in 10 games.
“Si Romeo talaga ang closer namin, ‘yun ang plano kaya maganda na nakarecover kami noong sixth inning,” said Batangas assistant coach Emerson Barandoc, who took over the bench after head coach Randy Dizer flew to Bacolod City to coach a Philippine girls softball team to the ASPAC regionals.
It took time for the Bulls to heat up under foggy conditions early in the game.
Batangas took a 2-0 lead on a two-run single by Jojo Apura in the first inning but Dumaguete scored a run each in the second and third innings respectively. Andy Tan’s sacrifice fly scored Lloyd Arago in the second while Jezreel Rosita advanced home on an unearned run.
Ching took home plate after De Leon advanced to second base on a throwing error in the bottom of the fourth but back-to-back doubles by Arago and Tan put Dumaguete to a 4-3 lead after the fifth inning.
But it was not to be for the Uni-bikers as the Bulls put on a three-run splurge in the sixth.
If the standings will not change, the Bulls will face the Cebu Dolphins in the semifinals, a team they beat during the elimination round.
“Mas bata ang team namin, beterano naman ang Cebu. Magandang laban ‘yun kung sakaling kami ang maglaban sa semifinals,” said Barandoc.
By Reuben Terrado