MANNILA -- The University of the Philippines got a heroic effort from Allen Mercado and Nano Asuncion to hack out a 6-5 win over Adamson University in 10 innings, Wednesday at the UP Diliman Baseball Field.
It was the second win of the season for the Fighting Maroons, among the favorites to contend for the title in the UAAP Season 85 baseball tournament.
Under the pressure of a 2-2 count, UP rookie Asuncion sent his catcher Mark Liwanagan home to take the advantage heading into the bottom of the 10th.
Mercado, a senior pitcher, anchored the Fighting Maroons defense to get the last three outs.
Mercado took it by himself in getting the second out, dismissing Aaron Mercado, before a well-delivered pitch to Keano Reyes' bat became an easy pickup for Asuncion for the last out.
"Masasabi ko parang superhero siya ngayon. Parang android, hindi napapagod. Pinakita lang niya yung pagka-senior niya," UP coach Anthony Dizer commented on Mercado's no-relief work.
Mercado faced 44 Adamson batters, limiting them to seven hits and registering four strikeouts.
The win gave UP a share of the lead with Ateneo de Manila University at 2-0.
The Soaring Falcons slipped to an even 1-1 record.
Asuncion was a machine on defense, ending the game with five putouts --including that game-winning out -- and assisting on three of them.
The Fighting Maroons never surrendered the lead they first took in the second inning before Mark Tuballas extended that advantage to 5-2 with a two-RBI homer to deep left field that scored him and VJ Mangahas.
Just like in their opening day classic against University of Santo Tomas last Sunday, the Soaring Falcons chipped away the lead.
Adamson leveled the game in the seventh inning with a double to right-center from Raymond Nerosa scoring Mark Manaig, and eventually setting up the extension.
"Talagang malakas yang Adamson, former champion din. What happened was breaks of the game. Medyo nag-collapse sila nung last inning. Tapos kami, naka-execute kami nung gameplan kaya we were able to win the game," Dizer saidd.
Adamson started Manuel Medrana on the mound, who allowed six hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings pitched. Dan Rommel Bacalla held the fort for Adamson before Asuncion's go-ahead run in the 10th inning.