MIGUEL Salud sparkled on the mound and at the plate as Muntinlupa crushed host Tanauan, 12-2, yesterday to capture its second straight Big League crown in the 2013 Little League Philippine Series in Tanauan City.
Salud, the reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player from Ateneo, struck out six batters and went perfect in his four times at bat, fueling Muntinlupa’s surge that left the hometown crowd in despair in Barangay Sala.
Meanwhile, International Little League Association of Manila forged a title duel with Marikina for the Senior League crown after downing Tanauan, 8-2. Marikina edged Muntinlupa, 11-9, for the other finals berth.
Tanauan’s 16-18 squad came into the championship game with plenty of confidence, having beaten Muntinlupa, 8-0, in the elimination round.
“Everybody was confident in this crucial game,” said Muntinlupa Little League president and Big League team manager Felipe Remollo.
The emphatic victory propelled Muntinlupa to another crack at the Asia-Pacific crown in June.
Also making the As-Pac series are Iloilo, which will represent the country in the Little League Softball and Junior League Softball tournaments, and reigning Big League Softball world queen Manila.
Iloilo’s victory came as a surprise with the tournament previously dominated by Bacolod and more recently, ILLAM and Muntinlupa.
The Tanauan batters looked to have picked up from where they left off in the elimination round where they posted a perfect 6-0 record, putting two runs on the board early on.
But that turned out to be their last stand as Salud imposed his will on the mound to make it a one-sided affair for Muntinlupa. Cedelf P. Tupas