Former Paso Robles High standout Thomas Bernal got his moment in the spotlight Monday.
The sophomore catcher who plays at Kentucky hit an RBI single in the 10th inning to lead the Blues to a walk-off win, 7-6, over the Santa Maria Valley Packers in a summer collegiate baseball game at SLO Stadium.
It’s a return to center stage for Bernal, who had a team-high .430 average for the Bearcats during his senior season. He also racked up 27 RBI and four home runs that season, while also compiling a team-leading 3.83 ERA in 562⁄3 innings, before committing to the Wildcats.
But with the Blues (23-9), it’s been a different story. Coming into Monday’s game, Bernal was hitting .222, with three doubles, one home run and 15 RBI.
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Monday’s game-winning hit was the third of the season for the Blues.
The Packers (18-16) sent the game into extra innings after a late-game resurgence.
Trailing the Blues 4-1 in the seventh inning, the Packers scored four runs and took a 5-4 lead off of an RBI single from Daniel Mallory, a two-run double from Dalton Rouleau and an RBI triple from Chris Rivera.
However, the Blues answered in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs to take a 6-5 advantage.
Rouleau tied the score at 6-6 in the top of the ninth, with an RBI double to center, before Bernal gave the Blues the win in the 10th.
Bernal finished the game 1 for 5 with an RBI, while Adam Frazier went 2 for 2 and Chad Christensen went 1 for 3 with two RBI.
The Blues will play the Santa Barbara Foresters on Thursday at home, before traveling to play the Conejo Oaks this weekend.