The Cuesta College baseball team’s improbable playoff run finally came to an end.
The Cougars, seeded 16th in Southern California, ended their season with a 7-6 loss to No. 9 Rio Hondo in a regional final at Santa Ana College on Sunday.
Cuesta needed to win all four of its final regular season games just to sneak into the playoffs, and by Sunday the Cougars had already knocked out the top two playoff seeds in their region.
But needing to sweep Rio Hondo in a doubleheader to advance to the state final four after fighting back through the consolation bracket, Cuesta (24-20) ran out of magic.
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Thanks to a three-run home run by Michael Camporeale, who batted 2 for 4 with a run and three RBI, the Cougars took a 6-5 lead, their first of the game, in the sixth inning.
Cuesta had been down by 5-1 in the fourth before making a comeback.
But the Roadrunners were able to tie the score in the seventh and scored the winning run in the eighth on a single by Thomas Jenson, who was 3 for 5 with two RBI.
Rio Hondo racked up 13 hits to the Cougars’ eight. Camporeale was the only Cuesta player with multiple hits, but former Atascadero High standout Austin Cunningham was 1 for 4 with a run and an RBI, and Scott Fleury was 1 for 3 with an RBI.
Former San Luis Obispo High pitcher John Tiedemann (3-2) took the loss for the Cougars after entering the game in relief during the second inning and pitching 5 2⁄3 innings. He gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits while walking three and striking out one.
Kyle Mac Donald (1-0) pitched the final two scoreless innings for the Roadrunners to get his first win of the season.
UC Davis 8, Cal Poly 2Looking for their first weekend sweep of the season, the Mustangs were unable to complete their third comeback win. Cal Poly, which has won seven of its past nine games, was able to overcome Aggies leads in the first two games of the series but did not have enough firepower against UC Davis starter Scott Lyman, despite pounding out nine hits and drawing five walks against him.
Including a 10th hit the Mustangs got against reliever Scott Chew, it was the ninth time in the past 11 games Cal Poly has registered double digits in hits, but the team ended up stranding 12 men on base.
David Van Ostrand, who was 2 for 4, drove in both Mustangs runs on RBI singles. Adam Melker, Bobby Crocker and J.J. Thompson also had two hits apiece for Cal Poly.
Eugene Wright had another tough outing on the mound. The starter fell to 1-5 after being charged with four runs on five hits in 1 1⁄3 innings.
It’s the fourth straight time Wright has staked the Mustangs’ opponents to an early lead since he went 7 1⁄3 innings without an earned run at Cal State Northridge almost a month ago.
TRACK AND FIELDPac-10 ChampionshipsBy mere fractions of a second, former Mission Prep star Jordan Hasay finished third in her lone race at the Pac-10 Championships.
A freshman running for Oregon, Hasay finished the women’s 1,500-meter race in 4:16.00. Ducks senior Zoe Buckman was first in 4:15.95.
Oregon won both the men’s and the women’s team titles, smashing the meet record for women with 215 points. The previous record was set by UCLA with 189.5 in 1997.
Former Paso Robles High standout Tom Nagengast finished eighth in the men’s discus with a best of just over 172 feet.
The Bruins men were third with 85 points, 83.5 points behind the Ducks men.