The San Luis Obispo Blues pitching staff combined to allow only three hits, Austin Christensen came up with a clutch single in extra innings and the Blues rallied for their fourth straight summer collegiate baseball win, 5-3 over the Orange County Pioneers on Wednesday.
After the Blues (7-4, 5-2 California Collegiate League) tied the score with a two-run rally in the eighth inning at JSerra Catholic High, Christensen hit a two-run single in the top of the 10th, and Daniel Mengden picked up his second save with two strikeouts in the bottom half.
Blues pitchers combined to strike out 14 and were led by game winner Parker Ray, who fanned five in 21⁄3 innings and left with one out in the 10th.
Matt Shortall led San Luis Obispo, going 2 for 3 with a run scored. Christensen’s lone hit was the one that won it. The rest of the team combined for three hits.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“It was good pitching on both sides,” Blues manager Chal Fanning said. “That’s why there were not a lot of multiple hits, but it was all about being clutch at the right times, and Austin Christensen was the hero for us tonight.”
Santa Maria Packers down SLO Rattlers
Marc Flores and Trevor Nathanson each hit their second homers of the summer collegiate baseball season, and the San Luis Obispo Rattlers came from behind to tie the score in the ninth inning in Santa Maria, but the host Packers won with a walk-off RBI single.
With the Rattlers (8-4) trailing by two, Nathanson hit a one-out, two-run home run to tie the score at 6 before the Packers pulled ahead for the 7-6 victory in the bottom half.
“We’ve done a great job of battling back the first 10-11 games of this year,” San Luis Obispo manager Aaron Levin said. “We just came up a bit short today.”
The Packers’ Kyle Smith had a one-out walk, and reliever David Murillo came on to walk a second runner. After a ground out, Ryan Bendle drove in Smith for the winning score.
Reliever Charlie Sharrer got the loss to spoil a standout game at the place for Flores, who was 3 for 5 with a double and a home run.
Football players moving on to four-year colleges
Allan Hancock College announced that four former football players with San Luis Obispo County ties made commitments to move on to four-year programs.
Former Paso Robles High offensive lineman and all-San Luis Obispo County first-teamer Jose Lopez — an all-conference and all-region performer for the Bulldogs — is headed to Division II St. Joseph’s College of Indiana.
Former Templeton standout and all-county running back Kris Dearie and former Atascadero standout Tanner Kuhnle are committed to Dakota State, an NAIA program in Madison, S.D.
Former Arroyo Grande High standout offensive lineman Sean Brown, another former all-county player, is going to Montana Western, an NAIA program in Dillon, Mont.