Dolphins rip Sharks, gun for crown todayBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
PITCHER Lorenzo Ubungen wielded the big bat by driving home four runs as Cebu downed defending champion Manila, 8-6, yesterday to move the Dolphins a win away from clinching the Baseball Philippines Series 9 championship at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The lefty Ubungen singled home two runs to highlight a four-run splurge in the sixth inning that gave the lead to Cebu, 6-4, then broke a 6-6 tie Manila forged in the upper eighth with a two-run double.
Returning ace Joseph Orillana, who took the mound chores from Ubungen in the fifth frame, preserved the win by getting the last two Manila batters to fly out in the ninth.
Cebu tries to sweep the best-of-three title series today at 1 p.m. and end the three-year reign of Manila. If the Sharks win, the playoff will be held Saturday.
“We are ready for tomorrow,” said Cebu team manager Isaac Bacarisas, who will be missing Ubungen and Orillana. The duo used up all their allowable pitches yesterday. “We have rookies whom they are not familiar with so we’ll be in good shape.”
“I gambled on Joseph (Orillana), anyway we will still have one more game if we lose tomorrow,” said Bacarisas of his top pitcher, who injured his knee three weeks ago.
Ubungen yielded six hits and walked one before Orillana, who was sidelined for three weeks, took over, giving up five hits, walking one and striking out two.
Manila shuffled pitchers Tawi delos Reyes, Jayson Dimacutac, Warren Vispo and Roel Baclay but found no answer to Cebu’s all-around sharpness in the match played under threat of thunderstorm and lasted for almost four hours.
The Sharks took a 4-2 lead by scoring three runs on the top of the fourth off Ubungen, who atoned for his poor pitching by coming up with the biggest hit as Cebu rallied in the sixth.
After Cebu picked up an unearned run, Ubungen connected on Dimacutac’s pitch to score Herxel Fortunato and Ramil Magno for 5-4. Miggy Corcuera added another run-scoring single to cap the onslaught.
The Sharks managed to chalk up two runs in the eighth for 8-8 but the Dolphins quickly broke the tie in their half of the inning on Ubungen’s two-run double to centerfield.
Orillana then fanned Kenneth Natividad to open the top of the ninth. Emerson Atilano doubled to the left but Jarus Inobio and Jennald Pareja flied out successively to end the match.
Linescores R H E
Manila 001 030 020 6 11 0
Cebu 010 104 02x 8 9 4