Asian Games: PH bows out of contention in baseball

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Senator Francis Tolentino is pushing for the revival of baseball and softball games in the country, which he said were once famous in the Philippines from the 1950s to the 1970s. 

Philippine men’s baseball team. PHOTO/ Baseball Federation of Asia Facebook

MANILA, Philippines–The Philippine men’s baseball team was eliminated from super round contention after being dealt a 2-0 loss by host China on Monday in the Hangzhou Asian Games at Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Center.

The Filipino batters couldn’t capitalize on a scoring situation before allowing China to produce a run each in the sixth and seventh innings that ultimately led to a second straight defeat in Group A.

Japan’s 18-0 rout of Laos in the nightcap confirmed the Philippines’ relegation to the placement round where the fifth to eighth placers are going to be determined.

Both teams will face the bottom two teams of Group B.

But before that, the Philippines will face Laos on Tuesday to close out group play.

A chance to take the lead came in the top of the sixth when Lord Aragom de Vera hit a one-out single before advancing to second when China pitcher Li Ningji was called for a balk. De Vera later reached third on a sacrifice bunt by Erwin Bosito for the second out.

Jennald Pareja was issued a walk to put runners at the corners, but Kyle Soberano flied out to right field, leaving the Philippines empty handed.

China scored the first run when Kou Yongkang hit a triple to center off Philippines starter Romeo Jasmin, scoring Liang Pei, who earlier singled and reaching second on a sacrifice bunt, in the bottom of the sixth.

The Chinese doubled the lead the following inning after an error by Pareja at third scored Lu Yun.

Iggy Escano led off the eighth with a single, but the early quest of a Philippine rally quickly ended when Ferdinand Liguayan grounded to a double play.

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China eventually retired the final four batters to seal the Philippines’ defeat.

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