(June 13, 2018 – Dallas, TX) The tumble from the top continues for the Spirits (18+) squad as they dropped their fifth straight game Wednesday night, falling to The Dark Horse by a margin of 8 to 2. The victory puts The Dark Horse in first place by a half game over the Spirits in NTABL Open National League standings.
The Spirits went 1-2-3 in the first two innings and nearly made it a hat trick in the third, however outfielder, Carl Suverkrop doubled off of Horse pitcher, Dillon Smith, but the extra base hit went no further than second. The Dark Horse made it 2 to 0 in the second when Hayden Stallings and Smith traded back-to-back doubles and Andrew Hunter followed up with a single to score Smith.
The Dark Horse added two more runs in the third, but the Spirits cut the lead to 4 to 1 after Nate Martinez singled and advanced to third on a single by John Showalter. Teddy Croft followed Showalter with another single to score Martinez and it appeared the Spirits might make a game of it. The Dark Horse added four additional runs in the bottom half of the inning and it appeared to be over, but the crying.
The Spirits cut the lead to 8 to 2 in the fifth after Mike Werner singled and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches. He later scored on a sacrifice fly by Duane Aponte, but that appeared to be all the offense the Spirits could muster as one again, Smith seemed to have complete control of Spirits hitting. Smith finished with 7 strikeouts, allowing 2 earned on 5 hits, while walking one.
Joey Zrinzo picked up the final inning of work for The Dark Horse, giving up 3 hits but also striking out 3 Spirits to close out the game. Croft and Werner finished with a pair of hits each, with Croft and Aponte each picking up an RBI on the evening.
The loss drops the Spirits record to 7-5 with 8 games to play and plenty of time to turn things around. The Spirits have been short ace pitcher, Craig Molldrem due to work travel, but expect Molldrem to return down the stretch and moving into the playoffs. Regardless of firepower, the issue appears to be offense. The team has struggled mightily at the plate, having been outscored 38 to 7 in the past 5 games. The team appears to have flashes of opportunity, but isn’t putting together the needed string of hits to compete at the moment. The Spirits left 8 runners on base Wednesday night, compared to just 3 by The Dark Horse and 3 errors in the field of play once again appeared to contribute to unneeded runs.
Aponte pitched 3 innings for the Spirits, allowing 4 earned on 7 hits while walking and striking out one. Holden Novak replaced Aponte in the final 3 innings, giving up one earned on 2 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 4.
The team returns to the ball field next Wednesday nights as the league will sit out during the Father’s Day holiday this coming Sunday. The squad will host the Dallas Blue Jays at Jesuit College Preparatory starting at 6:30PM. Click here for schedule details, to obtain directions to the game, or to download the iScore Central app to watch and listen to the game live, online!