Joey Linn - LA MIRADA, Calif.
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.
The next game will be on Saturday, back at Biola University.