(April 12, 2021 – Dallas, TX) It was another edition of the friendly rivalry between the Spirits (45+) squad and the Dallas Cardinals on Monday night as the two teams squared off in a new league after both teams moved up to the NTABL Masters League for the 2021 season. The teams have a strong history of competing with one another, but share a good relationship both on and off the field.
It was the Spirits who started off fast, but that fast start would quickly fizzle before the birds eventually went on to win the game by a score of, 7 to 4. Eric McPherson started the game by drawing a walk and advanced to second after Kirk Sipila singled. Travis Hitzeman quickly made it, 1 to 0 Spirits after he doubled in McPherson. Cardinals starting pitcher, Troy Key made quick work of both Shawn Lee and David Tipton via strikeouts, but a key single by Brian Hackney scored both runners with a 2 RBI single to give the Spirits a 3 to 0 lead before Brant Finchum flew out to end the inning.
The Cardinals rebounded with a run in the bottom half of the inning after Joe Lowry led the inning off with a double and later scored on an RBI single from Jerry Anderson. The game remained 3 to 1 until the bottom half of the second when Guy Koenig walked and later advanced to second on a single by Mark Moore. Both runners were able to advance on a wild pitch from starter, John Holmquist, and one more wild pitch later, Koenig was able to score to cut the lead to, 3 to 2.
The game remained quiet until the fourth when the Cardinals added another pair of runs to make it 4 to 3, but the Spirits rallied in the top half of the fifth inning to make it 4 to 4 when John Hefner scored on an RBI single from Sipila.
The Spirits weren’t able to hold the Cardinals offense in the bottom half of the inning, however. Kevin Fought reached on a one-out single and advanced to second after Anderson singled. Jerry Gamez reached on a fielder’s choice that squeezed Anderson at second but allowed Fought to move to third. Gamez swiped second and Chris Check followed with a single to score Fought. With Gamez on third, Cec stole second and Gamez was able to take home after Spirits catcher, Shawn Hunt made the throw to second to try go gun down Cec. Cec later scored on a single by Koenig and the Spirits were held to a pair of base runners in the sixth before the league’s two-hour time limit came into play.
Sipila finished with a pair of hits, while Hitzeman’s double was the only extra base hit on the night. Lowry, Anderson, Cec, and Koenig each finished with a pair of hits for the Cardinals.
The Spirits have a chance to get back in the win column next Monday night when they visit the Dallas Bulls at Reverchon Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30PM and you can click here for schedule details or to download the iScore Central app to listen to the game live online.