Bearcats hand Tigers first loss of season


Split series, each team wins at home

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Paso Robles High School baseball team (8-6) handed the San Luis Obispo Tigers (11-1) their first loss of the season on March 20 when they beat them at Barnhart field 9-3. SLO is currently the top-ranked team in Division 1 of the Central Section and entered the game against the Bearcats at 10-0 and had only given up more than five or more runs in two of the games in their win streak with nine being the most they have allowed this entire season.

Paso Robles jumped on the Tigers early hanging six runs on the top team in the first two innings while only allowing one to come across their home plate. The Bearcats opened the game with a walk drawn by Seth Maldonado and a bunt by Lucas Climer, down the third baseline, who beat out the throw putting two men on to start the game with no outs. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch in the next at-bat and then Paso Robles drove them in via a sacrifice fly by Jakob Wright and an RBI groundout by CJ Ontiveros. Going into the second inning, the Bearcats led 2-1 but had their biggest offensive inning in the bottom half.

Tigers senior pitcher Carson Silacci started the second inning off with another leadoff walk and the Bearcats followed it up with three straight base hits by Ryan Harvell, Dylan Castellanos and Kolby Gidcum. Gidcum’s single to right field scored Harvell and Seth Maldonado drove in Castellanos on a fielder’s choice in the next at-bat. Climer brought both runners home on a double to left field and suddenly the Bearcats had a commanding lead on the 81st ranked team in California according to Maxpreps.com.

Wright, Climer and Castellanos led the Bearcats offensively with all three of them registering multiple hits and at least one RBI on the evening. Wright and Climer each drove in two runs. Climer also toed the rubber for Paso Robles and pitched a gem. The senior shut down the powerful Tiger offense pitching for five innings giving up two earned runs and striking out five. Climer handed the ball to Wright in the fifth inning who closed the game giving up a single hit and striking out three.

The Tigers struck back with a vengeance on Friday when they hosted the Bearcats for the second game of the week. Friday night SLO put their ace on the mound in senior Cooper Benson that will almost certainly be a future MLB draft pick and is projected by some reports to go in the second round of the upcoming draft and the hard-throwing lefty made it hard on the ‘Cats. Benson pitched a complete game scattering four runs and striking out 11 without walking a single runner.

Wednesday night the Bearcats moved onto their second Mountain League opponent and will face the St. Joseph Knights before their series against the rival Greyhounds.

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