TEAM Philippines’ Brady Conlan blasted the first over-the-fence home run of the 2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifier tournament in the fourth inning but it wasn’t enough as New Zealand pulled off a rout to eliminate the underdogs, 17-7, on Friday, February 12.
Conlan’s two-run shot tied the game up, 4-4, in the fourth inning.
In the fifth, big-hitting Angelo Songco put Team Philippines in the lead, 7-4, again. But there, at 7 runs, the Pinoys stayed to the end.
For the second game in a row, the Pinoys got out to an early lead, plating lead-off hitter Eric Farris in the first inning.
Team Philippines had opened the game as it did against Australia at the tournament’s first day with a 1-0 lead.
New Zealand fought back with two of its own in the bottom half, and added another in the second.
The Kiwis set themselves up to end the game early after a five-run seventh inning to follow the go-ahead sixth frame.
New Zealand plated two in the bottom of the eighth to invoke the 10-run international matchup-ending rule and send the Filipino packing.
Team Philippines head coach Tim Hulett summed up the losses: “When you get a bunch of guys coming from different places, [it’s hard] to pull together as quickly as they did, and unite in one effort to be a good team and play a team game, and those guys really did an excellent job of that,” he said.
“This is one of those teams that if they were together for a long haul you’d see a really good team by the end of the year. Unfortunately this is a short [tournament].”
The team’s delegation president Marty Eizmendi had no excuses: “We lost to better teams at this tournament. I thank the Filipino community and press for believing in us and supporting Team Philippines’ campaign.
“I’m sure we’ll see you again.”
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