By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
FULLERTON -- Cory Blackburn doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth and Sean Mullen pitched two scoreless innings in relief to help Bakersfield Southwest rally -- after squandering a nine-run lead -- and defeat La Mirada 17-16 in the opening round of the PONY Baseball Pony-13 World Series at Amerige Park.
Bakersfield led 12-3 after three innings, but La Mirada scored six in the fourth and seven more in the fifth to take a 16-12 lead.
But Bakersfield rallied with two outs, scoring five runs to take the lead on consecutive doubles by Zach Griffin and Blackburn.
Griffin finished 4-for-5 with five RBIs, Ronnie Stapp was 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBIs and Andre Martinez was 4-for-5 as part of a 21-hit Bakersfield attack.
Jack Tobias, Blackburn, Easton McMurray and Luke Fringer had two hits apiece for Bakersfield, which plays Jurupa at 4:30 p.m. today.
Northwest Bakersfield plays Hanford at 1:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the Cal Ripken Pacific Southwest Major (12-year-old) Regionals at the Northwest Bakersfield complex adjacent to Sam Lynn Ballpark.
The winner meets the winner of Hawaii and Laguna, who play at 11 a.m.