Trailing by five runs, the San Luis Obispo Blues put together scoring rallies in the eighth and ninth innings to finish off a three-game summer collegiate baseball sweep of the Orange County Pioneers on Thursday at JSerra Catholic High.
With two out and nobody on in the top of the ninth, the Blues (8-4, 6-2 California Collegiate League) scored four runs to take an 8-7 victory over the Pioneers, who led 7-2 after six innings.
Nick Flair reached on an error, Nick Rosso doubled, Will Maddox was hit by a pitch and Ryan Walker drove them all in with a double to tie the score in the ninth. Matt Shortall drove in Walker for the winning run with another double, and closer Daniel Mengden shut the door with a scoreless ninth for his third save of the summer and second straight.
In the eighth, Shortall drove in Maddox with a two-run home run. Shortall finished 3 for 5, and Rosso was 2 for 4.
It was the fifth straight victory for the Blues, who were below .500 before the current win streak. With the series victory, they move all alone into second place in the CCL standings.
It was awesome, San Luis Obispo manager Chal Fanning said, especially to sweep the series and kind of put us in a different perspective now in the league.
SLO Rattlers top Fresno Sand Gnats
Jeff Bench pitched 6 2⁄3 innings with seven strikeouts while Marc Flores went 2 for 4 with a home run and three RBI in the San Luis Obispo Rattlers 6-4 win over the Fresno Sand Gnats in a summer collegiate baseball game at SLO Stadium.
The Rattlers (9-4) had a 3-2 lead before scoring three runs at the bottom of the seventh inning. San Luis Obispo held on for the win despite Fresno scoring two runs in the ninth.
Charlie Sharrer went 3 for 4 with an RBI, and Dylan Candaele, Trevor Nathan-son and Mark Velasquez each finished with a double.
North County crushes Team San Diego
Sean Safko pitched a complete game and scattered five hits to lead the North County Indians to a dominating 17-1 win over Team San Diego at Templeton High. The game ended in seven innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
The Indians (7-1) had five runs in the second inning, six in the fourth and six more in the fifth to run away with the win.
Bryce Gerhardt went 3 for 4 with a triple and three runs scored, Mike Livingston was 3 for 4 with two runs scored, Brian Mundell went 2 for 3 with two doubles and two runs scored and Bryce Cherry went 3 for 4 with two doubles.