Saturday wasn’t all bad for the San Luis Obispo Blues.
Yes, the rival Santa Barbara Foresters stayed mathematically alive for a share of the California Collegiate League title with one game to play, denying the Blues their first outright championship for at least one more day with a victory over Team Vegas.
And the Blues fell 1-0 in a summer collegiate baseball shutout at SLO Stadium to the San Luis Obispo Rattlers, assuring their intra-city rivals an advantage in the season series.
But there were a couple of Blues players celebrating. They just weren’t wearing Blues uniforms yet.
Travis Wilcox, the Rattlers pitcher who struck out nine and limited the Blues to just two hits, will be joining the Blues roster when the team leaves to compete in the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan., next week.
“He’s been our guy all summer,” Rattlers manager Aaron Levin said, “and he deserved to go out there for the ninth, and he had great stuff today.
Wilcox improved to 6-1 on the summer and lowered his ERA to under 2.00.
“The only loss he had, he gave up one unearned run,” Levin said. “He’s just been outstanding all summer.”
Wilcox’s college teammate at Division II University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Rattlers catcher Brian Brademan, will also join the Blues (33-15, 20-10 CCL) for their postseason run. He drove in the game’s only run with an RBI single.
The only thing left to determine is how the Blues will arrive in Kansas — as the first team other than the Foresters to win an outright CCL title since 2002 or victims of a three-game sweep to end the season.
Maybe both. Maybe neither.
If the Foresters can beat Team Vegas once again today, sweeping a three-game series, the Blues and Foresters will share the CCL title for the second straight season. A Foresters loss gives the Blues the crown.
The Blues and Rattlers (35-19) will also play once more in the regular season finale, giving the Blues one last chance to head to the World Series with some momentum.
There wasn’t much building against Wilcox on Saturday. Doubles by Tanner Donnels and Cody Dufrene were the only hits for the Blues, and Wilcox walked just two.
Former San Luis Obispo High and Cuesta College standout John Tiedemann allowed one run on five hits in five innings while striking out five and walking one for the Blues. Marc Flores was 2 for 4 for the Rattlers, and Steven Takahashi was 3 for 4, doubling and scoring on Brademan’s single in the fourth inning.