After routing the Santa Barbara Foresters 10-2 on Tuesday on the road, the San Luis Obispo Blues lost 2-0 to the Foresters on Wednesday in a rare defeat this season.
The Blues were led by Cal Poly standout third baseman Jimmy Allen, who went 3 for 4 with a double and stole a base in his first start with the Blues this season.
Allen took some time off to visit family following a Mustangs season that ended with a loss to San Diego in the NCAA Regional on June 2.
“I had a little bit of a different focus today,” Allen said. “Using a wood bat, you want to make good contact and make sure to get the ball on the barrel. I felt like I had some good swings today.”
Allen, a junior this past season at Cal Poly, was selected in the 23rd round by the Boston Red Sox in this year’s MLB Draft and has until July 12 to sign as a professional or choose to return to the Mustangs for a senior campaign. Allen hit .299 with 12 doubles and 39 RBI for the Mustangs.
“I’m leaning towards going back to school,” Allen said. “We’re in a good conference. I love it here in San Luis. It was a great experience making it to the regional.”
Despite the loss, the Blues held onto their first place position in the California Collegiate League’s North Division. They have a 22-6 overall record and a 10-5 league mark.
The Blues had two chances in the game to score runners on third, with one out each time, but couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities.
Allen led off with a double in the eighth inning and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Cuesta’s Zach Dominguez, but Allen was left stranded.
San Luis Obispo second baseman Aaron Attaway continued his hot streak and improved on his .345 batting average entering the game with a 2 for 4 night at the plate.
Blues right-hander Jordan Smith pitched five innings in the loss, allowing two runs on two hits and striking out four.
Tyler King, a lefty from the University of Nebraska, pitched four scoreless innings in relief to keep the game within reach.
Blues coach Chal Fanning said that often in blowout games against quality teams, the next game in the series becomes that much more difficult to win.
“There’s a statistic that something like 68 percent of the time if you score 10 runs or more against a quality opponent, the next game you get two runs or less,” Fanning said. “They have a lot of pride.”
Fanning called this season “a fun ride” so far and likes his team’s chances the rest of the way.
The Foresters (15-7-1, 9-7) scored their two runs on a sacrifice fly from Ryan O’Hearn in the fourth and a RBI double off the wall in the fifth by Joey Epperson.
Four Blues players are Mississippi State Bulldogs, the team that finished runner-up this week in the NCAA championship this year.
Blues catcher Daniel Garner, who plays for the Bulldogs, came into Wednesday’s contest with a .358 batting average, ranking him second on the San Luis Obispo summer team.
Garner redshirted this year and was playing with the Blues when his Mississippi State teammates faced off against UCLA in Omaha, Neb.
“We worked hard all year, and it was great to see them go to Omaha,” Garner said. “I’ve talked with some guys on the team, and they said the experience of playing out there was awesome.”
Garner said that he got to know Mission Prep graduate and former Cuesta star Alex Detz well and called him a “great guy.” Detz was one of Mississipi State’s top hitters this season, finishing with a .318 average.
San Luis Obispo entered the game against the Foresters having won six of their last seven contests.
The Blues play again today at 6 p.m. at San Luis Obispo Stadium in Sinsheimer Park against the Santa Paula Halos. In their last matchup on Monday, they beat the Halos 7-5.