Catch (19-14) Ease Past Legends Late

Box Score

Sometimes the weather just has an influence on how you go about the day and the looming clouds and constant breeze at Long Beach City College made for a drowsy offensive forecast in the first seven innings of this game. However, the So Cal Catch (19-14) would cash in loads of insurance runs late, five runs in innings seven and eight, and shutout the Long Beach Legends 6-0.

The Catch bullpen, affectionately known as “the mafia” after the group game the team plays on buses during road trips, kept the Legends at bay for the second straight night and proved their mettle in pressure situations. Catch pitchers left the bases loaded at the end of three innings while keeping Long Beach of the board despite the opposing team amassing 10 hits. Starter Sean Sparling (UC Irvine) gets his second win in six days after pitching four innings and striking out four. Billy Kirkpartick (William Jewell College) took the mound with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth and pounded the strikezone for two innings for the hold. Kirkpatrick threw 33 pitches and only eight missed the strikezone against the eight batters he faced. Shane Stillwagon (Cal State Fullerton) and Cole Hybner (Univ. of the Incarnate Word) closed up shop over the final three innings, with Hybner ending the game with a flourish by getting Warren Fishback and Adam Antonaras to strike out swinging on fastballs for the final two outs.

Alex Jefferson (Missouri State Univ.) had the best statline in the Catch batting order tonight. AJ went 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored, two RBI’s and his 20th stolen base of the summer in the three run eighth inning for the Catch. Jefferson’s RBI was the first run of the game, scoring Ryan Land (Concordia Irvine Univ.) on a 70 foot chopper down the third base line.

Wednesday will be an off-day for the Catch, save their five 2014 California Collegiate League All-Stars: outfielders Chance Gusbeth (Cal State Bakersfield) and Alex Jefferson, infielder Jonathan Munoz (UC Irvine), and pitchers Josh DeGraaf (Taylor Univ.) and Kevin Lillicrop (Point Loma Nazarene). The Catch’s five players are a few of the 60 top performers and top prospects from the 2014 CCL season selected to participate in the nationally-televised 2014 CCL All-Star Game and Prospect Showcase. The players representing the eleven CCL teams were selected by the CCL head coaches and will compete as two teams, the CCL South and the CCL North. All five Catch players are on the CCL South. Game time on Wednesday begins at 7 pm at the MLB Urban Youth Academy. Fox Sports West will broadcast the CCL All-Star game live to a national audience and replay the broadcast regionally several times in July and August (check local listings for tune-in instructions).

The So Cal Catch is a ministry of Fellowship of Christian Athletes Baseball. The Catch seeks to create an opportunity for collegiate baseball players to further develop their baseball skills in a highly competitive summer collegiate league and to train them to be lights for the Lord in a world of baseball.