(July 25, 2018 – Dallas, TX) The voting is complete and the all-star selections for the Dallas Spirits Baseball Club are in place. Players from each of the squads including the Spirits (18+), Spirits (35+), and Spirits (45+) will all participate in the NTABL All-Star Charity Games taking place this Sunday, July 29 starting at 8:30AM at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.
The leagues break for the all-star games working with the Frisco RoughRiders and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in an effort to raise funds for the hospital. In recent years, the teams, players, friends, families and volunteers have worked together to raise over $20,000, $25,000 and up to $30,000 in subsequent years. Teams collect donations through a link directly to the hospital, and every penny collected goes straight to the hospital and the kids.
This season, the Spirits will send a score of solid players along with two managers to manage teams during games. The Spirits (45+) squad will send Kirk Sipila to manage one of the two teams playing, while Spirits (18+) manager, John Showalter handles the Veterans (35+) duties in place of manager, Shawn Lee who is unable to attend the event.
Open National League All-Stars (Spirits 18+)
Showalter (3B) will be playing in the Open National League All-Star Game scheduled for 4:00PM alongside teammates Teddy Croft (C), Kyle Redinger (SS/P), Cliff Brade (OF), Holden Novak (P) and Nate Martinez (C/IF/OF) in place of Eric Goetz (1B) who cannot attend.
Showalter, a solid defensive player at third is currently fifth on the team in hits, with 3 doubles, 8 runs batted in, and tied for first on the team in walks with 8. This will be John’s second appearance in the all-star games and his first appearance as a team manager.
Croft makes his second appearance as an all-star and is second on the team in batting average at .369 while being tied for second in hits. Teddy has 5 doubles on the season with a total of six runs batted in and brings with him a tenured experience behind the plate with a proven arm to cut down runners who get greedy.
Brade returns to his second consecutive all-star game as well, tied for third on the team in hits while leading the team with 14 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. A reliable outfielder with a solid arm, Brade will be an asset utilizing his speed both offensively and defensively.
Redinger also returns to the big game leading his team in both hits (23) and batting average (.442). Kyle is also second on the team in runs scored with 13, while also scoring second in stolen bases with 5. Redinger brings a tested background with him as a former Astros product with a great glove and arm from the shortstop position and the ability to provide some shutdown pitching when needed.
Novak makes his first appearance as an all-star for the Spirits in his debut season. Novak has proven to be a force both offensively and defensively. Novak is tied for third in average (.319) and hits (14), while leading the team with 9 runs batted in. Novak also holds a 2-2 record as a pitcher, which also includes a save. The numbers may not do him justice due to some lack of support in several appearances, however in just under 46 innings pitched Novak boasts a 3.55 ERA with a team-leading 53 strikeouts.
Nate Martinez makes his first appearance as a Spirits all-star as a utility man including the catching position as well as both infield and outfield. He’ll replace Eric Goetz who is unable to attend. Goetz is currently fourth in hits (13) and average (.295), while holding third in runs scored with 11.
Eric Goetz makes his second straight appearance as a Spirits all-star. Goetz is a outstanding athlete with a great bat and a great glove and brings a positive attitude with him both on and off the field. Eric is currently tied for fourth on the team in batting average (.295) and fourth on the team with 13 hits. Eric won’t be able to attend this year’s event but has earned the recognition of his teammates as a Spirits (18+) all-star.
Veterans League All-Stars (Spirits 35+)
Making their way to the spirited grounds of Dr. Pepper Ballpark for the Spirits (35+) squad will be Kirk Sipila (IF/P/OF), John Showalter (3B), Patrick Bilgere (C), Jason Bottenfield (2B/P) and pitcher, Jonathan Duran. Cliff Brade (OF) will act as an alternate.
Sipila continues to define his history as a Spirit making his fifth straight appearance in the big game. Kirk can typically be found at the top of the statistics for each team he plays for and this year is no exception. Sipila currently leads the Spirits (35+) squad with 12 hits and 8 runs batted in. He’s currently second in average at .400 and is second on the team with 6 free passes to first. Sipila is an asset at any position and definitely on offense and will also be relied upon for leadership and camaraderie.
Showalter makes his first appearance with the Veterans League squad and will handle managerial duties in place of Spirits Club Manager, Shawn Lee. Showalter is currently fourth on the team in average (.370) and his third on the team in hits (10) and tied for second with 8 runs scored. Like the Open National squad, John will provide his services at third base where he is a reliable and hard-throwing defender.
Patrick Bilgere makes his first appearance as a Spirits (35+) all-star despite being a solid performer and leader on the squad. Bilgere’s bat has been red hot in 2018 and it’s no surprise that he’s currently third on the team in batting average at .391. Bilgere is also tied for second in runs scored with 8 and leads the team with 3 extra base hits, including 2 doubles and a triple. Patrick is a solid catcher with a significant baseball IQ that helps both the team and the players he plays around.
Jason Bottenfield makes his first appearance in the all-star game as a Dallas Spirit, but earns his second year of being voted to the game as he was unable to attend in 2017. Bottenfield currently leads the team in batting average (.438) and is a force to be reckoned with on defense. Bottenfield stems from the Boston Red Sox system and can be relied upon for solid pitching. Bottenfield is 2-0 with 4.59 and 6 strikeouts in just over 10 innings pitched.
Jonathan Duran will represent the Spirits (35+) squad at the pitcher position and makes a hard-earned first trip to the all-star game as a Spirit. Duran is a reliable player in nearly any position and also provides the squad with a solid bat. An eye injury set Jonathan back in 2017 but he has rebounded and nearly reclaimed the stature that made him a leader in 2016. Duran is tied for the team lead with 8 runs batted in and holds a 2-2 record with 2 saves in the current summer campaign, while carrying a 3.73 ERA and team-leading 15 strikeouts. Like Bilgere, Duran also brings a high baseball IQ to the game and the dugout making those who surround him better.
Masters League All-Stars (Spirits 45+)
Rounding out the all-star appearances for the Spirits Baseball Club will be the NTABL Masters League All-Stars. Representing the Spirits (45+) squad will be Brant Finchum (IF/P), Jack Nash (IF/OF), Chris Lewis (C/1B), Patrick Bilgere (C/IF), John Holmquist (P) and Guy Koenig (IF/OF) as an alternate.
Brant makes his fourth return to the all-star affair in Frisco and his bat has been on fire for the Masters (45+) squad. He’s currently tied for second with 20 hits while holding the number three position in batting average at a scorching, .500. Finchum leads the team in doubles with 6, and leads the team with 12 free passes to first and 12 stolen bases. The veteran ball player is a solid choice at literally any position on the field and steps up to the challenge of that position with a high level of skill. Finchum as play nearly every position and can be relied upon as both a solid infielder and pitcher. A team favorite in personality, Finchum provides the team with experienced leadership and camaraderie.
Jack Nash makes his first all-star appearance as a Dallas Spirit in 2018. Nash leads the team with 18 runs batted in and holds a tie in the number 3 position with stolen bases, while carrying a .421 batting average into the final stretch of the regular season. Nash has been reliable when coming to the plate with runners on or runners in scoring position and his positive disposition is always fun for the team both on and off the field. Nash continues to improve and can be relied upon to play nearly any position within the infield or outfield and is always looking to help the team in any way he can.
It’s no surprise to find Chris Lewis on the 2018 all-star roster given he is one of the best contact hitters on the ball club. Lewis isn’t messing around with his time at the plate this season as he is second on the team in batting average with a .541 batting average while being tied for second in hits with 20. Lewis is first on the team with 2 triples and is fourth in RBIs with 13. Lewis is always a clutch hitter and has the ability to hit for power when teams unexpectedly play him for contact. His combination of singles and extra base hits keeps teams off balance defensively and you can expect Lewis to make contact nearly 100 percent of the time. Lewis typically handles catching and first base duty, but can also handle some additional infield and outfield when called upon.
Patrick Bilgere will pull double-duty on Sunday as his talents have produced at a high level on both the Spirits (35+) and Spirits (45+) squads. Bilgere is fourth on the team in average at .462, while carrying the team with 16 RBIs, which is good for second on the team. Patrick is fourth on the team with 17 hits and acts as a solid defensive catcher, calling pitches and showing his baseball IQ both offensively and defensively. Bilgere’s bat continues to scorch opposition pitching and he continues to be an asset whenever he’s on the field or within the dugout.
John Holmquist makes his third straight appearance as a Spirits (45+) all-star at the pitching position. John is currently 6-0 in Masters League play with a 2.31 ERA and 14 strikeouts. Holmquist has been both consistent and accurate with pitches, but also plays solid defense handling both ground balls or fly balls that get within his reach. Holmquist has seen some success offensively this season as well, picking up 4 hits including 2 doubles, 7 runs scored and 6 RBI. John is a team leader and avid supporter of his team and his teammates and brings with him an outstanding will to win.
Guy Koenig makes his first all-star appearance as a Dallas Spirit and brings with him a solid bat and arm on the defensive side. Koenig is hitting .400 with 12 RBIs, 8 stolen bases and 17 runs scored. Guy can typically be found at one of the corners of the infield and is consistently dropping his name in the hat to become a pitcher. Koenig brings with him an experienced background of baseball and frequents tournaments around the country with several teams. Guy has a great disposition and a great sense of humor that he brings both to the dugout and off the field, but he also possesses a high baseball IQ in which he also shares with those around him.
The team and the leagues thank you for your support and wish to remind you that the games are held in the name of the children of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. All funds raised for the event are provided to the hospital to support the kids and the Spirits would like to thank you for your donation. If you have not yet donated for this tax-deductible option, please click here to donate directly to the hospital and select one of the three available options for Dallas Spirits as your team to support. Best of luck to our Dallas Spirits All-Stars!!