JAKARTA, Indonesia - After yesterday's twin gold medals in men's and women's softball, the Philippine men's baseball team followed on Sunday, winning their gold medal match against Indonesia, 2-0, in the 26th Southeast Asian Games.
In a tough battle against the hometown favorites, the Philippines relied on the steady pitching of Darwin dela Calzada, who delivered by shutting out the Indons.
The Indons eventually cracked under pressure, as they committed crucial errors that allowed the Philippines to clinch the game.
Roel Empacis batted in the first run with a pop fly to center field that the Indonesians dropped. That hit brought in Ruben Angeles for the first run of the game in the 6th inning.
Even after Indonesia replaced their pitcher, the Filipinos were still able to score. Jonash Ponce hit a line drive in the 8th inning, which allowed Fulgencion Roces to get the second run.
The cushion was enough to put pressure on Indonesia, even though they managed to get base hits and put two runners on base in the last inning. The steady pitching of dela Calzada was also crucial as the Philippines held on for the win.
It was sweet vindication for the men's baseball team, as they did not get any funding from the Philippine Sports Commission. The sports officials opted to trim the budget and focus funding on teams that can bring in more medals, rather than teams with big delegations but can only win one medal.
Adding to the Philippines medal haul was a gold from traditional boat racing and a gold in cycling from Alfie Catalan.
The Philippines remain in 6th place with 26 golds, 45 silvers and 63 bronze medals. Tomorrow is the last day of competition, with two boxers carrying the last hopes for gold for the Philippines.