It’s been a harsh week for the San Luis Obispo Blues summer collegiate baseball team, since they entered the limelight.
In the same week the Blues were tabbed as the 10th-ranked team in the country by Perfect Game USA, they stumbled to a 1-1 record in the first two games of the Rawlings California Cup.
And after a risky play in the bottom of the 13th inning, the Orange County Pioneers made it 1-2 on Saturday.
Orange County’s Wynton Bernard laid down a two-out squeeze bunt and reached base safely as the Pioneers walked off with a 7-6 victory over the San Luis Obispo Blues (22-9, 14-8 California Collegiate League) during the third day of the Rawlings Cup at SLO Stadium.
The Blues looked to be the favorites to win early, as they raced out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. The Pioneers (14-13, 14-10 CCL) bounced back with two runs in the bottom of the second, before the Blues added two more in the third to make it 4-2.
In the fifth, Tanner Witt scored Alex Detz on a sacrifice fly to take a three-run lead, and the Blues added another in the inning to extend the lead to 6-2.
But the Pioneers would answer in a big way. Bernard belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, Rouric Bridgewater scored on an error in the sixth, and Bernard scored again on an error in the seventh to tie the score at 6-6.
That set up Bernard’s heroics in the 13th.
The Blues missed an opportunity to head to the Rawlings Cup championship game with a loss to the Menlo Park Legends on Thursday. The Legends defeated the Blues 4-3 during the first game of the tournament, defeated the Orange County Pioneers 16-4 and then downed the San Francisco Seals 12-2 to go undefeated in the San Luis Obispo bracket of the Rawlings Cup.
Along with the trip to the championship game, the Blues lost an opportunity at a National Baseball Congress World Series berth. However, the Blues will still have a chance at another berth if they can win the California Collegiate League title. But that means the Blues will have to get past the Santa Barbara Foresters, who now own a game lead over the Blues.
It’s been a back-and-forth affair between the Blues and the Foresters at the top of the league. The two have rotated, almost daily, in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the CCL standings.