Philippines, 02 Aug 2021
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RTU Thunders rule 1st semi-pro softball series


PhilBoxing.com


The Rizal Technological University men?s softball team has come of age. Lingered in the confines of the minor State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association league, which they, nevertheless, dominated, the Blue Thunders captured their biggest triumph ever by earning the distinction of becoming the first Softball Pilipinas Fall Season champions.

Last Saturday, coach Noel Bumagat?s boys, seeded only fourth in the field of eight that joined the Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines? ambitious attempt to put up a first semi-pro league in the country, swept their best-of-three title series with the Globe Asiatique Realtors at the Rosario Sports Complex in Pasig City.

With lefty Leo Barredo manning the fort of the Blue Thunders? first line of defense, the Mandaluyong-City-based clouters first disposed off the Realtors, 8-3, in the opener of the gold medal playoff then came back later in the afternoon to repeat with relative similar ease, 12-5, to claim the championship trophy via a perfect 10-0 win-loss slate.

The 26-year-old Barredo kept the enemies guessing on what pitches he would dish out in a four-inning start in the first encounter, starving the Realtors to mere two hits and allowing only one to cross the plate before yielding the mound to comebacking Ronnie Pagkaliwagan at the top of the seventh and last frame.

Barredo, a physical education sophomore who rose to prominence by emerging the 10th best pitcher in last year?s International Softball Federation world championship where the Philippine Blu Boys ended up ninth, reaffirmed his supremacy in the next session two hours later with a superb four-inning four-hit, one-run start that set the tone for another rout.

In all, Barredo gave up only two connections and a measly run while striking out 10 GA batters that crossed his path in the 10-iinning up the hill that more than complemented his teammates? 13 hits off three Realtors hurlers.

?This (victory) is a product of many years of patience the school management and us in the sports department have been at in putting up a strong development program,? Bumagat, many-time member of the national softball and baseball teams, said of his boys? title triumph.
The Blue Thunders looked headed for an abbreviated ending in the afternoon session soaring to an 10-1 lead in first four frames, highlighted by a solo home run by designated hitter

Raymond Mariano in the second inning. The Thunders had what turned out an unreachable 12-1 going into the lower half of the sixth until entertainer-turned athlete Richard Gomez ignited a four-run binge as he prevented the Realtors? losing the game via an embarrassing 10-run mercy rule.

Gomez, ?Goma? to fans, playing left whose exploits in rowing,
fencing, shooting and baseball earned slots in national teams in those sports, ripped a triple off reliever Rey Pagkaliwagan to deep left-center with two outs at the bottom of the sixth driving home Mark Rae Ramirez, who belted out a double earlier, and Joel Binarao who reached first on a single.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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