| August 6, 2021
LINCOLN, CA- The San Luis Obispo Blues will advance into the championship final after their third win of the tournament. The Blues knocked off the second seeded Arroyo Seco Saints with a final score of 6-2.
Saint’s right-handed starting pitcher John Chomko (UT San Antonio) started off on the right foot. He caught a line drive to his glove side for the first out of the inning and the game. He followed up with two strikeouts to close the top of the first. The Blues were able to capitalize on a few pitches and an error in the outfield, putting men on the corners. They were not able to get a run across before Chomko closed the inning.
Vaughn Mauterer (UC Berkeley) followed Chomko striking out the first batter up. Two fly outs kept the Blues and Saints tied at zero going into the second inning.
Thomas Trinca (George Mason) smashed a ball to the centerfield wall, but Connor Bradshaw (Pepperdine) grabbed it sending Trinca back to the dugout. Chomko again finished the inning with a strikeout.
Ryan Cermak (Illinois State) proved to be a force in centerfield as well, grabbing a shot by Josh Cowden (Brigham Young) in the bottom of the second. A line drive by Jag Burden (UC Berkeley) put him on base with two outs. Burden then stole second to put himself in scoring position in the next at-bat. But Cermak pulled the Blues to the top of the third, grabbing yet another ball hit at the centerfield wall.
Chomko started the third inning with back-to-back swinging strikeouts. Ruben Mercado (San Jose State) reached on a single, but Mason Grotto (Fresno State) sent a ball directly to Tommy Castillo (Long Beach State) for the final out of the inning.
Mauterer started with the top of the order wasting no time with a 1-2-3 inning. This gave the Blues momentum as they went into the top of the fourth inning. Trey Clarkson (Utah) knocked a double to right field and then Vincent Martinez (Stanford) followed it up with a single in the same direction. Trinca then knocked a double down the third base line, driving in Clarkson to give the Blues a one-run lead. Austin Kretzschmar (Stanford) knocked a single to score two more Blues, furthering the lead. A quick ground out sent the Saints back up to the plate.
Drew Cowley (Cal Poly Pomona) slammed a double in his lead off at-bat, putting himself in scoring position after the Blues three-run inning. A sacrifice fly by Peyton Lewis (Texas State) sent Cowley to third. Mauterer picked up a swinging strikeout from Cowden for the second out. Castillo then drove a ball down the first base line, scoring Cowley and putting himself on third base. A fly out to the Blues second baseman Kretzschmar left Castillo on third and sent the game into the fifth inning.
Chomko continued to stay hot on the mound getting a swinging strikeout to start the fifth. Grotto then hit a double down the first base line. Chomko then picked up his eighth strikeout of the game. Mauterer also got the job done in the fifth inning, going 1-2-3, and keeping the Saints at bay.
Kyle Sonduck (UT San Antonio) came in to relieve Chomko and threw a quick strikeout to start the sixth. Trinca came up to the plate, and smacked the first pitch Sonduck threw him clear out of the park to score a run. The Saint’s were able to hold the Blues to the one run for the inning. Jared Hart (Illinois State) subbed in for the Blues, giving up a double to Cowley. A single from Lewis sent Cowley home for a Saints run, putting the score at 4-2 Blues.
Both pitchers went for a silent seventh inning. Clarkson was the man of the hour for the Blues in the 8th. He knocked a ball over the fence for a two-run homer to solidify the Blues lead 6-2. The ninth inning was quick, with neither team scoring.
The Blues will advance to the championship final tomorrow night at 6 p.m. while the Saints will play the Prune Packers tomorrow at noon.
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