The San Luis Obispo Blues ended a three-game summer collegiate baseball losing streak Sunday, ensuring they would go into next week’s National Baseball Congress World Series on a positive note, but they also had to settle for another co-championship.
The rival Santa Barbara Foresters completed a three-game sweep of Team Vegas with a 5-3 victory in the regular-season finale to tie the Blues atop the California Collegiate League standings for the second straight season.
The Blues (34-15, 20-10 CCL) have not won an outright CCL title, and the Foresters, the defending NBC World Series winners, haven’t been unseated as champions since 2002.
The Blues did, however, beat the San Luis Obispo Rattlers 9-5 in a nonleague game at SLO Stadium, upping the Blues’ record against their intra-city rivals to 2-6 on the season.
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“It was really important for us to win today for a number of reasons,” Blues manager Chal Fanning said, “but I really didn’t want to go into Wichita with a four-game losing set. So, that was good today.”
Taylor Anderson hit a two-run triple, and the Blues put up four runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 4-1 lead. The Rattlers (35-20) came back to tie the score at 5-5 in the fourth inning, but Blues relievers Kory Delange, Sean Mullen and Chase Green combined to allow only four hits and keep the Rattlers scoreless over the final 42⁄3 innings.
Cody Dufrene was 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI, and Connor O’Hare was 2 for 4 with a double and two runs. R.J. Hassey, a returning senior at San Luis Obispo High, doubled and drove in two runs, and recent Lompoc High grad and incoming Cuesta College player Steven Pico was 1 for 3 with a run and an RBI for the Blues.
“Those guys were big,” Fanning said. “Youngsters. That was awesome.”