LA HABRA -- For the first time this season, the SoCal Shepherds have won back-to-back games after taking down the California CageRats.
The game opened as a pitchers duel between Ryan McCarrel of the CageRats and Alex Escobar of the Shepherds. Escobar was able to pitch in and out of trouble early, as he left the bases loaded in the second and Noah Reitmeyer saved at least one with a diving catch in left to end the third with runners at the corners. Escobar would finish with four innings pitched, one run allowed, and he struck out seven on the day.
The fourth inning brought the offense for both teams. Cage Rats second baseman Christian Juarez drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single to centerfield. That lead wouldn't last for long though, as the Shepherds would answer with four runs of their own. Tanner Smith would get things started with a three-run homer to right field for his fourth home run of the season. Caleb Jung would add on with a single that would score a run to give the Shepherds a three-run lead.
In the fifth, the Shepherds would score four runs for the second consecutive inning. A Jackson Van Ness double that split the gap in the left-center field would score two to start the scoring. T. Smith would follow Van Ness at the plate and would bat with a runner on third. Smith would get him home with a line-drive sacrifice fly to center and Tommy Acuna would drive in the final run of the inning with a base hit that scored Van Ness from second. The Shepherds would score their final run of the game in the eighth, with a Jung sac fly to center field.
The Shepherds bullpen once again continued their dominant stretch over their last few games, pitching five scoreless in relief of Escobar. Anthony Reynoso was the first man out for the Sheps and was wearing Providence Christian and Shepherds teammate Walter Roberts' jersey. Reynoso would walk two but get out of the jam to keep the CageRats at bay. Ben Peters would follow with a scoreless sixth, Nick Lycett would throw a scoreless seventh and eighth, and Josh Ramirez would seal the Shepherds win with a scoreless ninth.
The Shepherds will take on the Inland Valley Pirates tomorrow at 5 pm as they look to win their third straight.