College Sports

Tough day for the SLO Blues

The San Luis Obispo Blues got a double dose of summer collegiate baseball disappointment Friday.

At least for one more day, the Blues were denied outright possession of the California Collegiate League title when the rival Santa Barbara Foresters beat Team Vegas 5-1 to stay mathematically alive for a share of the championship with two games to go.

Later, the Blues lost a 4-3 series-opening nonleague game to the intracity rival San Luis Obispo Rattlers on a tie-breaking, ninth-inning bunt single.

The Blues and Rattlers are under the same ownership umbrella, so the rivalry isn’t as competitive as it has been in past years, but there is still some pride at stake.

“Being part of the same organization,” said Rattlers manager Aaron Levin, who also coaches alongside Blues manager Chal Fanning at Cuesta College, “we want to see Vegas take out the Foresters, but when we get on the field, we want to play competitive against them.”

If the Foresters lose either of the next two games against Team Vegas, the Blues will become the first team other than Santa Barbara to win an outright CCL title since 2002.

The two teams shared the championship last season.

Against the Rattlers (35-19) at SLO Stadium, the Blues (33-14, 20-10 CCL) came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the score with a three-run rally in the seventh.

Former Mission Prep and Cuesta standout Alex Detz led off with a solo home run, Austin Grisham singled and scored on an error, and Connor O’Hare drove in Cody Dufrene with an RBI single.

But former San Luis Obispo High standout Marco Murillo took a one-out walk in the ninth for the Rattlers and scored on a bunt single by Brian Brademann two batters later for the winning run.

Brett Haringa struck out two in a perfect ninth inning to earn the save.

Murillo also drove in a run with an RBI single that capped a three-run fourth inning for the Rattlers. Marc Flores singled and scored, and Trevor Nathanson and Charlie Sharrer each doubled and scored.

Starter David Hart got the win for the Rattlers, giving up three runs — one earned — on five hits while striking out five and walking one.

Detz’s home run broke a 23-inning scoreless streak by Hart after he entered the game on the heels of a complete-game shutout and an eight-inning scoreless start in his two previous appearances.

Thomas Cortese gave up the final go-ahead run and took the loss.

Sharrer ended up going 3 for 5 for the Rattlers, and Grisham was 3 for 4 for the Blues.

With a fireworks show scheduled for later in the evening, the teams continue their three-game series tonight at 6 p.m.