ATASCADERO — The San Luis Blues hosted another round of games this weekend, and have continued to stay red hot. Former Templeton Eagle standout pitcher, and current Gonzaga Bulldog, Mac Lardner was on the bump for the Blues on Sunday, and pitched a gem. The lefty college sophomore pitched five innings for the Blues and only gave up three hits in total. Lardner recorded six strikeouts in his five innings of work, which directly resulted in six free bottles of hot sauce for lucky fans in attendance.
About 10 different variations of “get your hot sauce here!” rang out from the crowd and dugout in an old timey 1920s “extra, extra, read all about it” voice. The Blues weren’t tested on Sunday — the game ended with a score of 10-0 — but even when the game was closer there was little to no sense of anxiety from the players.
Visually the Blues looked like the superior team, there was an aura of confidence, bordering on arrogance, emitting from the dugout. The liveliness and comradery of the Blues players was obvious — they’re demeanor fit that of a team that has played together for months. While both teams were very recently constructed, the SoCal Halo’s very much appeared to be a team that had been thrown together just a month ago, while the Blues looked like a well-oiled machine.
The Blues offense was very quiet through the first couple of innings until Halo’s pitcher Brent Dickey stepped up to the mound. Dickey’s first action as starting pitcher was to begin reshaping the Blues mound to his liking, and it was a terrible idea. The instant his heels nudged just a single pebble, the entire Blues team was up against the fence taunting the pitcher in a traditional baseball fashion. Rather than taking their advice, the pitcher made himself comfortable and kept digging away as he was pelted with verbal warnings. The psychological warfare was effective, and nearly instantaneous. Dickey’s first pitch bounced roughly two feet in front of home plate and carried over his catcher's head all the way to the wall. The wild pitch was promptly met with a snarky “How about you keep digging, that worked well” comment that rang out from the stands, and the route was on.
Catcher Andrew Ramos lead the Blues offense on Sunday. Ramos powered in four RBIs on the day, but three of them came in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded. Ramos powered a bases clearing double through the left field gap, extending the score to 8-0.
Ramos was impressive on both offense and defense for the Blues, aside from his team leading four RBIs, he also caught for three brand new Blues pitchers. Ramos worked best with Lardner, who was making his Blues debut and will look to keep up the good chemistry behind the plate.
Former Templeton Eagle Andy Garretson also played for the Blues on Sunday. Garretson went 0 for 3 at the plate, but swallowed up everything thrown his way at first base. Centerfield Drew Judson has consistently been one of the Blues’ best offensive weapons this season, through the first seven games, and with the most at-bats, he is hitting .448. He continued his excellent play on Sunday by going 3 for 5 with two RBIs.
The Blues will host a three-game series this weekend against the San Francisco Seals, starting with a game tonight at 6 p.m. Head coach Dan Marple has the Blues playing excellent baseball — they are currently 7-1 and are outscoring their opponents at quite a rate.
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