Carlos Laurel gave up just six hits as the Alabang Tigers roared to a 10-6 victory over the Dumaguete Unibikers yesterday and take the early lead with two wins in the Baseball Philippines Series 9 at the Rizal Memorial ballpark.
Laurel, who also had one strikeout, also fueled a two-run sixth-inning blitz with a sacrifice fly to score brother Matt, who drove home the winning run in a 13-12, 11-inning decision of Batangas in the tournament’s opening game Saturday.
Cebu bounced back from a shock loss to Dumaguete by tripping three-time defending champion Manila, 12-7, while Batangas notched its first win with a 6-3 decision over Taguig in a match shortened to seven innings due to fading light.
The Batangas Bulls, the Dumaguete Unibikers, the Manila Sharks and Cebu Dolphins now have 1-1 cards while the Patriots remain winless in two games.
“He was throwing very good today. His fastball is good and he’s starting to hit the spot on the sides (of the strike zone),” said Alabang team manager Jeff Santiago of Carlos Laurel.
“We tend to start slow but we showed that we can get back and finish strong. Hopefully we can sustain this kind of game,” added Santiago, who steered the now-defunct Makati Mariners to the championship in the league’s maiden season.
The Tigers, who came back from 0-8 in the first inning against the Bulls, also trailed at 5-0 on top of the third inning before getting two runs in the lower half of the same frame.
Alabang then went 2-2-3-1 in successive innings from the fourth to take the lead at 10-5 before Dumaguete came up with a single run on top of the ninth for the final tally.
Dolphins ace pitcher Joseph Orellana defied an order from the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association preventing national players from joining the league when he started for Cebu.
But he had a shaky start, yielding 12 hits and one walk while striking out four.
Cebu proved sharp on offense, however, erupting for two three-run innings plus a four-run splurge in the fifth. The Dolphins opened a 12-6 lead after eight innings before Manila closed out the scoring with a single run in the upper ninth.
PH top pitchers Jonjon Robles and Charlie Labrador didn’t show up for the Sharks for the second straight day.
Paba president Hector Navasero, who said the national players should start practicing as a team, watched the BP games.
First Game R H E
MANILA—021 102 001 7 15 3
CEBU—031 041 30x 12 15 2
DUMAGUETE—014 000 001 6 6 6
ALABANG—002 022 31x 10 7 6