FIRST BLUES PLAY-OFF GAME:
FRIDAY, JULY 31st @ 6:00pm
vs. CONEJO OAKS @ SINSHEIMER STADIUM
PITCHING DOMINANT. BLUES TAKE FIRST TWO OF SERIES.
July 28, 2015 - SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
By: Andrew Mitchell
A dominant pitching performance in both games of the double header Tuesday night against the Pacific Union Financial Capitalists gave the San Luis Obispo Blues (31-14, 14-12) two wins in front of their home fans. With both games slated to go seven innings, the Blues took game one 7-2 and game two 3-1.
For the third time this season, Blues starter Bobby Ay allowed no earned runs in a start. After retiring the side in order the first two innings, Ay got into some trouble in the third putting runners at first and second with no outs on a single and a walk. The Cal Poly Mustang freshman struck out the leadoff hitter and then rolled up a groundball to the shortstop but a throwing error allowed a run (unearned) to come into score and the Caps tied the game up at one.
The Blues answered that with a two run home half and would lead the rest of the way against Northern California’s 18U elite travel team that consist of all players who have earned a scholarship to a division one school, 10 of which have been drafted out of high school.
In the third, Ryan Long walked and got to second with a sacrifice bunt by Quin Walbergh. Walbergh ended up staying on first after an error and then Ryan Sluder picked up a RBI double, his second hit of the game. Two batters later, Dustin Williams grounded out to the third baseman but with one out and the infield playing back it allowed Walbergh to score to put the Blues up 3-1.
Blues were held off the scoreboard in the fourth with a 1-2-3 inning from reliever Tanner Dodson but was not able to repeat that in the fifth. Long reached on an error, Walbergh singled and Sluder walked to load the bases. Dodson stayed in the game and was ahead of Nick King 0-2 but then threw four straight balls and walked King with the bases loaded giving the Georgia shortstop a RBI.
Two more runs came across to score in the inning off an error and the final Blues run came home on a Brett Barbier RBI single. Manager Jaime Clark turned it over to the bullpen after that and Jackson Sigman gave one up in the sixth and Adam Atkins threw a scoreless seventh to snap the Blues two game losing skid.
Offensively, Sluder and Walbergh both had a two hit game with Barbier and Dustin Williams picking up the other two, both RBI singles.
Unlike game one, the second game of the double header was close throughout and was never separated by more than two runs. Bryan Sammons got the start and combined with relievers Nigel Ward and Adam Atkins to hold the Caps to just one run on two hits.
The hometown team was able to scratch across a run in the second off the Caps lefty Kris Bubic with a Burton De Koning RBI single scoring the DH Brett Barbier.
The Blues had another runner in scoring position the following inning when Quin Walbergh doubled with one out and stole third putting him 90 feet away from taking a 2-0 lead. With the Caps infield playing in, Ryan Sluder hit a ground ball to the shortstop and Walbergh tried to score but was thrown out at the plate. A fly out ended the inning but the Blues got themselves the two run lead in the following inning with a two RBI from Blues returner Ryan Long.
Sammons night was over after that and the Blues reliever finished throwing four scoreless innings allowing just one hit and struck out five and earned his third win of the year.
Nigel Ward took over for him and threw a scoreless fifth and then allowed a run (unearned) and the Caps pulled within one. Arizona State commit Tyler Williams reached on a Brett Langhorne error, got moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and came into score with on a groundout.
The Blues answered with two doubles in the bottom half, one from King and a RBI double from Jimmy Brakka to push the lead back to two and gave closer Adam Atkins an extra run to work with as he picked up his sixth save of the season.
The three game series ends tomorrow night against the Caps. First pitch scheduled for 6:00 at Sinsheimer Stadium.