Sheps eliminated after back to back l’s

Joey Linn - LA MIRADA, Calif.

Box Score 1

Box Score 2

It was a disappointing end to what was a fantastic season for the Shepherds. In a seemingly unfitting turn of events, the team found themselves dropping from the top of their division, down to the 4th seed, and out of the playoffs in a matter of days. Fatigue looked to have been a likely factor in the season ending slump, as the Shepherds put in more hours this summer than most people would at a full time job. Ultimately, it was for the kingdom of God, and the players know that. Although ending the season this way is hard, they are comforted in knowing that they did an eternal amount of good, both on and off the field.

Game 1

Game 1 was one that you just want to forget. The Sheps were up against the OC Legends, and it was not pretty. After surrendering a 2-run shot in the first, the Sheps’ pitching staff would watch itself give up a total of 14 runs on 20 hits. Aside from an RJ Lan 3-run bomb, the Shepherds’ offense was entirely quiet. That game was dropped, which forced the team into a Game 2 fight for their season.

Game 2

Game 2 was much more competitive, and one that the Sheps had control over for most of it. In a back and forth affair, the game was locked at 5 a piece for quite some time. The Shepherds threatened to score on multiple occasions, but failed to do so. The difference in the game was a 1-out, bases loaded single, in the 8th off of Blake Bolgiano, that sealed the Shepherds’ fate.

It was a fantastic season aside from the finish, and the mission is not done yet. The team will head into the 4th and final camp week, at Esperanza HS on Monday. It will be their last opportunity to influence kids for Christ, and that mission exceeds any baseball game.

South All-stars score 23 in ASG win

Joey Linn - LA MIRADA, Calif.

The Sunset Baseball League All Star Game was held on Sunday at Biola University. The game featured 7 players from the Shepherds, as they went to battle for the victorious South squad. The game began, as so many Shepherds games do, with a double from Sebastian Dunn. He came around to score the first tally of the game, and the South would never look back. Sebastian continued his good ballgame with a bases loaded walk and a sacrifice fly to ultimately finish the day 1-1 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI’s. Fellow all star teammate and best friend of Dunn’s, Chad Ragland also made contributions with a sac fly and stellar defense in right field. The Florida boys exited the All-Star game combining for a good portion of the offense, as they so often do.

Another staple for the Shepherds that had a great ASG, was utility man Colton Back. Colton did not start the game, but came off the bench and casually went 3-3 with an RBI. His red hot regular season carried over into the ASG, and will hopefully extend into the playoffs as well. Catcher, Brett Cobb took over the catching duties for the 2nd half of the game, and did an excellent job handling the South pitching staff that he was unfamiliar with.

The most notable All-Star moment for a Shepherds’ player, came from none other than Austin Caulk. Austin, coming off of a HR derby appearance, got the start at DH for the South. He stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, and on the first pitch he saw, sent a moonshot out to left field for a grand slam. The energy in the stadium was electric, as the home town favorite launched a massive grand slam which began to spiral the score out of reach.

It was an awesome game for the Shepherds, filled with many memorable moments. They will now lock in to prepare for their first playoff matchup at 1:00 on Tuesday.

Shepherds Fall to Redbirds Twice

Connor Taylor - FCA 

Box Score 1

Box Score 2

Game 1

The Shepherds came out energetic Saturday morning to start the doubleheader matchup vs. the Redbirds. They took a six nothing lead heading in fifth inning with multiple batters hitting well including Colton Back and Maaki Yamazaki. Back went three for five during the game and Yamazaki went two for four on the day. The game was a different story after the seventh inning with the Redbirds leading the Shepherds 9-7. The Shepherds crawled back by tying the game up at nine in the ninth inning, but ultimately fell short in the bottom of the ninth losing 10-9.

Game 2 

The second game was a back and forth matchup with both teams fighting for the coveted one seed in the playoffs. The Shepherds again started strong offensively while putting up five runs through four innings. Maaki Yamazaki had another solid outing while going four for five with two RBIs. RJ Lan was another player who played well in the second game while going three for four and three RBIs. Ultimately, pitching struggled for the Shepherds as the team changed pitchers six times. As always, the Shepherds fought hard to take the lead heading into the bottom of the ninth by putting up a five spot in the top of the ninth. The score now 11-10 Shepherds. They eventually fell though 12-11 as the Redbirds found a way to scrap another win out on the day.

Up Next

The Shepherds enter playoff baseball on Tuesday at Biola University against the Legends with an approximate start time of 1 p.m. 



Sheps drop back and forth battle

Joey Linn - LA MIRADA, Calif.

Box Score

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.

Shepherd's Hitting Party Leads to Win

Connor Taylor - FCA

Summary

The Shepherds had a strong outing Wednesday against the Sparrows taking them down 16-5. The team started hot by putting up eleven runs through the first three innings. Multiple players hit well by the team averaging a .460 batting average total. Ethan Lopez and Austin Caulk both hit home runs Wednesday making it Lopez’s first on the season and Caulk’s seventh. Colton Back went three for three with one of them being a double. RJ Lan continued his hot streak hitting by going two for three after going four for five during Tuesday’s game. Overall, the Shepherds offense got rolling early and could not be stopped by eventually putting up sixteen on the scoreboard. Defensively, Roy Washburn pitched solid by throwing seven innings and only allowing five earned runs with six strikeouts on the evening. Caleb Pollema and Ben Allen both helped the Shepherds by both throwing one inning and both pitchers recording two strikeouts respectively. Lastly, the team finding their groove as they head into the sunset baseball league playoffs next week is perfect timing.

Looking Forward

The Shepherds will look to keep their hot hand going into tomorrow as they face off vs. the Orange County Legends. The game will be streamed on the So Cal FCA Facebook page with a start time of 4:30 p.m.

Sheps' Surge Ends in Tie

Joey Mistretta, FCA

Box Score

The Shepherds tied the Signal Hill Oilers on Tuesday night. The game started out in a pitcher’s duel and ended in a run scoring mash for both teams. Through the first three innings the game was tied. In the bottom of the fourth the Shepherds scored 1 and in the top of the fifth the Oilers pushed 2 across. The Oilers went on to score 6 more unanswered. Down  8-1 in the seventh, The Shepherds began to make some inroads and drew closer going into the eight down 8-6. Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Shepherds were down 10-9. As the sun began to go down The Shepherds wound up tying the game at 10. After the inning ended with two Shepherds runners left on base, the umpires were forced to call the game due to darkness as Biola’s field has no lights. 

Key Moments

Ryan Hernandez struck out seven batters through his few three innings of work. However, he also walked some batters and he was forced to leave in the fifth because of his extremely high pitch count.

The Shepherds had came back from down 8-1 before this season. Doing it again tonight shows the heart and soul of this team.

RJ Lan lead the offense with four big hits in the game. Garret Mcintire also chipped in with a 2 RBI clutch base hit. 

Next Game

The Shepherds will travel to Irvine, CA on Wednesday. This will continue their current nine games in seven days stretch. The game can be seen on the Shepherds facebook page @Socalfcabaseball.



Sheps Fall After Hard Fought Battle

Connor Taylor - FCA

Box Score

Game Summary

The Shepherds fought hard Monday night against the Ventura County Pirates but eventually fell in an extra-innings game. Blake Bolgiano got the start on the mound for the Shepherds, his first on the season, and pitched four innings while giving up two earned runs on two hits. The Shepherds fell behind early 2-0 after the top of the first but bounced back quickly tying the game up at two apiece after the end of the first inning. The Shepherds then found themselves with the lead after the second inning 3-2 with bats in full swing giving the team an early lead. The Shepherds after the fourth took a more comfortable lead of 4-2 because of strong hitting from Colton Back who was three for five and Nic Costas who was three for four on the night. The Shepherds eventually fell behind in the eighth inning 5-4 but immediately rebounded tying the game up at five. The Shepherds though could not get much going offensively making them end up falling to the Pirates 7-5 in the tenth inning after a hard-fought battle.

Looking Forward

The Shepherds will look to bounce back tomorrow as they face off vs. Signal Hill Oilers whom they are currently 2-0 against. The game will be streamed on the So Cal FCA Baseball Facebook page with a start time of 4:30 p.m.



Hot bats and Wall's big outing secure W

Joey Linn - LA MIRADA, Calif.

Box Score

Game Summary

The Shepherds handed the ball to Philip Wall for this Sunday evening outing against the OC Legends. Phil’s stuff was electric, as he stifled the offense of the Legends. The final line for Wall was 8 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, and 10 K’s. This pitching performance was more than enough for the Shepherds’ bats, as they put up 13 runs to defeat the Legends by a final score of 13-2.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Shepherds had Ethan Lopez and Garret McIntire collect multiple hits. The RBI damage was done mostly by Chad Ragland along with Lopez, as both players drove in 3 runs a piece. Colton Back out of the 2-hole, scored 3 of the 13 Shepherds runs, as he scored each time he reached base tonight. The whole lineup was seeing beach balls at the plate, as 8 off the 10 starters got at least 1 hit.

The victory tonight expands the team’s lead amongst the top of their division, and they will look to continue the momentum tomorrow when they return home top Biola University. As the Shepherds look to continue their quest for 1st place, they will be extra motivated by the additional All-Star selections they will be rewarded with for finishing atop the division. With the star power on the Shepherds’ roster, they will be well represented in the ASG held at Biola next week.

Back on Track: Sheps Take Two

Box Score 1

Box Score 2

The Shepherds traveled to Fullerton, CA on Saturday to take on the Inland Valley Pirates for a day-night doubleheader. The Shepherds played well en route to a sweep on the day. 

 GAME 1

The Shepherds sent out new acquisition, Alex Escobar, to start game 1. Escobar pitched well and game the Shepherds a great chance to win. Up 4-3 in the eight inning, Joey Scotvold entered the game in a nightmare situation; runners on first and second with nobody out. Cool and collected, the 18 year old went on to strike out the side in order. Following a scoreless top of the ninth for the Shepherds, Scotvold was sent back out for the bottom half of the game. He would end up getting the first two outs before allowing a base runner with two outs. The final hitter of game hit a deep fly ball to right center, but center fielder Chad Ragland ran the ball down and caught it to seal the win for the Shepherds.

GAME 2

The Shepherds looked to starter Roy Washburn in game two to keep the good times coming. However, Washburn’s first pitch he threw got turned around and crushed for a home run. Through three innings Roy would give up five runs and the Shepherds trailed 5-3. However, Washburn would settle down and gave the Shepherds three more innings of scoreless baseball. The offense would end up giving Washburn the lead and the Shepherds would ultimately take the game 8-6. Chad Ragland led the offense with two hits and took home his first player of the game award of the season. 

UPCOMING GAMES

The Shepherds will play one more road game on Sunday and then will travel back home for a game at Biola University on Monday. Ace Philip Wall is scheduled to pitch tomorrow.

Sheps split double header in a tale of two slams

Joey Linn - LA MIRADA, Calif.

Box Score 1

Box Score 2

Game Summary

The Shepherds competed in a double header against the Sparrows on Saturday, July 6th. Both games were similar in their nature, but not in their outcome. Philip Wall got the start for game 1, and pitched a very solid game before handing the ball over to the sure handed bullpen. His offense was quiet for most of the game until who else but Austin Caulk stepped to the dish with the bases loaded and promptly unleashed on a fastball and sent it way over the wall for a grand slam. The HR was Austin’s 6th of the year, and his 2nd grand slam. This pushed the lead out too far for the Sparrows to ever reach, despite some a late game push.

Game number two was a similar story with a different outcome. The Sheps had right hander Joey Acosta on the hill, and he was dominant throughout. Joey surrendered 1 run early on an RBI infield single, but was lights out until the 7th inning. Some shaky defense and unlucky bounces saw Joey give up 2 runs that gave the Sparrows a 3-2 lead. The Shepherds would see this lead expand however, when they found themselves on the wrong side of a grand slam in the 7th inning. This pushed the lead to 7-2, and despite a few comeback attempts, the team fell short and split the double header in a tale of two slams.

The team will now take their talents to the coaching side of the ball this week, when they serve at another baseball camp before returning to game action.