Blu Boys drop opener vs Americans

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The Philippine Blu Boys succumbed to a pitching battle with the United States and lost, 1-0, on Saturday in the start of their campaign in the Men’s Softball World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand.

A wild pitch thrown by Leo Barredo dampened a strong outing on the mound even as the Blu Boys’ bats went silent while leaving four men on base that spelled the difference in the contest held at Rosedale Park.

Coach Apol Rosales’ squad was among the teams that dropped their opening day matches in Group A, along with defending champion Argentina and host New Zealand.

Argentina, which won the 2019 edition, will be the Philippines’ next foe on Sunday. Also in the group are Cuba and the Czech Republic.

Barredo struck out eight batters in a complete game showing but his throw allowed Nicholas Ryan Mullins to slide home from third with one out in the bottom half of the third frame.

The Blu Boys tried to make up for that, with their best chance of tying the score coming in the sixth when Jerome Bacarisas reached first on an error before advancing to second after Michael Pagkalinawan grounded out.

But Melvin de Castro also grounded out in the next at-bat to end the inning before Bradley Kilpatrick retired all three batters in the seventh to ice the American win.

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