Joey Linn - LA MIRADA, Calif.
The Shepherds came into Thursday’s game, knowing they were just one win away from clinching the top seed in their division. In doing so, that would assure them a first game bye, as well as home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Needless to say, there was a legitimate sense of urgency to pull out a W. The game started as a pitchers duel, as starting pitcher for the Shepherds, Alex Escobar was keeping pace with his opponent who had a no-hitter into the 5th inning.
Both starters got through the first 4 innings without surrendering a run. The complexion of the game drastically changed during the 5th inning, when the legends struck for two in the top half and saw those two runs immediately answered by the Sheps in the bottom half. It was 2 and 3 batters Colton Back and Chad Ragland who carried the load for the Shepherds’ offense tonight. Colton went 3-4 with a run scored, and Chad went 2-4 with 2 RBI’s.
The game would continue on a similar trend to that of the 5th inning, when the Sheps would allow 2 more in the 6th, then answer that with one run of their own in the bottom half of the 6th and 7th. This knotted the score at 4 a piece, when the Shepherds handed the ball to newly acquired right hander, Chad Wilson. Chad had previously been lights out in his first outing with the team, but tonight he did not have his best control. This led to him surrendering 2 runs in the 8th inning that the Shepherds were unable to ever get back.
The team will head down to San Diego on Saturday to play a double header and their last two games of the season. These games will have playoff seeding implications, so be sure to turn into those on Facebook live.