Nine scoreless innings wasn’t enough to get the San Luis Obispo Blues their 10th straight win.
The Blues had their season-long win streak snapped Wednesday, giving up the scoreless tie-breaking run to California Collegiate League rival Santa Barbara Foresters in the bottom of the 10th inning on two defensive miscues.
With a 1-0 victory secured on a walk-off passed ball, the Foresters (11-6, 6-2 CCL) evened the first three-game series of the summer between franchises that ended last season tied atop the CCL standings.
Having moved ahead of Santa Barbara with a 4-1 victory Tuesday, the Blues (12-5, 7-3 CCL) fell back into a first-place tie with the Foresters with the loss.
“It was too bad too because we pitched really well and they pitched really well,” Blues manager Chal Fanning said. “It was a big game from that standpoint. We just didn’t get timely hitting when we needed to.”
On Wednesday, Parker Ray was saddled with the loss after allowing only a hit and a walk while striking out four in 12⁄3 innings of relief.
With runners at the corners and two out in the 10th, Ray’s second pitch to Foresters hitter Luke Pluchek got past Blues catcher Cody Dufrene, and Shane Hoelscher scored the winning run after leading off and reaching base on the only error of the game and advancing to third on a single by Nick Melino.
Ray, combined with starting pitcher Dylan Munger and reliever Phillip Gerber, did not allow an earned run. Munger struck out eight while allowing four hits and two walks through six innings. Gerber had two perfect innings of relief.
The Santa Barbara pitching was just a little bit better.
The Foresters staff combined to strike out seven and walk one, allowing only two hits. Starter Ian McCarthy gave up one hit in five innings, and four relievers combined to allow one more San Luis Obispo baserunner the rest of the game.
Tanner Witt and Patrick Quintanilla each went 1 for 3 to lead the Blues.
“We were hitting the ball really hard,” Fanning said. “They just made some good plays on us and they just never let us get off the mat with any momentum.”
Rattlers 9, Reds 1
Michael Nieporte had another productive night at the plate, going 2 for 3 with three RBI to help lead San Luis Obispo to its third consecutive win in a victory over Santa Maria at SLO Stadium.
Levi Shordon had five strikeouts and allowed five hits and one run in five innings. The Rattlers (14-6) backed him up with 14 hits and a 4-0 lead after the third inning.
Kyle Christ went 2 for 5 with two doubles and two runs scored, Charlie Sharrer finished with two RBI, and Stephen Takahashi and Trevor Nathanson each collected two hits for the Rattlers.