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.

Shepherds drop heartbreaker in extras

Joey Linn - LA MIRADA, Calif.

Box Score

Game Summary

The Shepherds started this ballgame against the South Bay Sliders in a 4-0 hole after 2 innings. Starting pitcher Roy Washburn had success with his off speed pitches, but the Sliders took advantage of some early misplaced fastballs. Despite being down early, the Sheps responded with 2 runs of their own, highlighted by a Nic Costas RBI triple, to cut the lead in half. Those 2 runs were quickly given back, when the Sliders pushed the lead out to 6-2 the very next inning. The game would remain around this run differential throughout, until the Shepherds finally broke through in the 7th inning. After trimming the deficit to only 2 runs, Austin Caulk stepped to the plate representing the tying run. He wasted no time jumping on the first pitch he saw and destroying it to left field for a 2-run game tying blast. The fans, players, and broadcasters all erupted as the Shepherds had come all the way back to tie things at 7-7 in the 7th.

The score would remain tied the rest of the way, behind clutch pitching outings from power arms Blake Bolgiano and Liam Neri. Both hard throwing right handers were able to hold the Sliders at bay until the top half of the 10th when two runners reached base, and ultimately scored on a base hit to centerfield that Sawyer Smith dived for, but saw the baseball rattle in and out of his glove.

It was an incredible effort by the Shepherds to remain in the game throughout, and once of the most exciting games of the season, despite the loss.

Next Game

The next game will be on Saturday, back at Biola University.

Oilers Can't Stop Full-Strength Shepherds

Joey Linn – LA MIRADA, Calif.

 

Game Summary

The Shepherds got back in the win column on Tuesday evening, with an 8-4 victory over the Signal Hill Oilers. The Shepherds improved to 3-0 over the Oilers, as they are becoming a team that the Sheps presumably match up well against. The win improved the team to 10-4, and snapped 2-game losing streak, which was the first of the season. After an error riddled game that saw a make shift defense surrender a tough loss, the Shepherds were more than pleased with the showing from their starting 9 today.

 

Moments That Mattered

The Shepherds scored first in this one on a Clayton Espino sacrifice fly in the top half of the 2nd inning. However, drawing first blood was not the momentum shifter quite yet. The team still had a bad taste in their mouth after failing to score in the top of the first with bases loaded no outs. Starting pitcher Joey Scottvold struggled with his command early, which allowed baserunners for the Oilers to reach without hitting their way on. Scottvold surrendered a couple of runs early on, but would quickly settle down and never look back. He ended up giving the team 5 innings of 2 hit baseball and gave the Sheps in a great chance to win. The biggest moment of the game was not pitching related, but was the Austin Caulk blast that sucked the life out of the Oilers. Caulk had a big day at the plate also adding a double to his bomb.

 Next Game

The next game will be a special 4th of July classic on Thursday back home at Biola. The Shepherds will face off against the South Bay Sliders that they are currently 3-0 against on the season. The full-strength roster of the Shepherds is back and rolling once again, as they look to continue their ascent to the top of the league.

New Rotation Slows Shepherds

Connor Taylor - FCA

BOX SCORE


Game Summary

The Shepherds struggled Sunday night with multiple players in new positions. The Shepherds had four players in new positions with the infield having a completely new look. The Redbirds got moving early by scoring four runs in the first inning and never looked back. On the other side, the Shepherds struggled to get much going offensively while putting up a four-spot on the board through nine innings. Overall, the Shepherds fought to get anything going on offense and defense and eventually fell 13-4.
Up Next

The Shepherds play their first away game Tuesday, July 2, against the Signal Hill Oilers.