Joey Linn - LA MIRADA, Calif.
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 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 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.