SLO Blues baseball returns Friday

Gibbons, Johnson among local players on early roster

Half-inning high jinks, hot sauce, and dollar beers are returning for the summer as the San Luis Obispo Blues baseball team begins its season this Friday night at 6 p.m. at Sinsheimer Stadium.

The Blues are a wooden bat, summer collegiate baseball organization that allows college players from all across the country play baseball over the summer with new teams, in new areas, and most importantly, with wooden bats.

The Blues have something for every fan: At every home game, they have a kid zone that has everything from balls and bats to a bounce house.

There are games played between every half inning, bottles of hot sauce are given out for every strikeout and last, but certainly not least, when the Blues score, you score. Everytime the Blues score a run the beer and wine prices are slashed for the rest of the inning, some to as low as a $1.50.

The Blues provide an electric atmosphere and the numbers prove it. Last summer San Luis Obispo outdrew the rest of the teams California Collegiate League combined, twice. The average amount of fans in attendance last season 950, with many games drawing more than 1,000 fans to Sinsheimer Park.  

Dan Marple has returned as the Blues’ skipper this season and has focused on a couple changes that he hopes might help his team make the postseason this year (missed by only a half game last year). Because the Blues are so popular, many teams have opted to play an extra game in SLO this year and rather than splitting the series with two games at home and two away, they will do three games at Sinsheimer.

Knowing that the Blues will play more home games this season Marple is hoping to use the field to his advantage. Sinsheimer Park has a short right field and Marple has focused on bringing in more left-handed hitter to try and take advantage of the close wall.

Many of the players on the Blues come from different states and set up with a host family for the summer but the team also contains a few local players from surrounding high schools and colleges. Justice Gibbons from the Templeton Eagles, Noah Cracknell and Cooper Benson from the SLO Tigers and Shayne Johnson from Atascadero are a few of the local players that will be on the Blues roster for the early part of the season.

The Blues have also added former Atascadero Greyhound head coach and current Cuesta College assistant Casey Belt to their staff. Because Belt coaches for Cuesta the Blues are unable to use more than one player from the Cougars roster this season meaning they needed to recruit more players to the area.

The Blues are still adding pieces here and there as the summer starts but Marple has commitments from several players from big-time schools. The season starts Friday night as the Blues welcome in the Santa Maria Packers, Cole Tucker is projected to start.


© 2019-Atascadero News

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