(May 25, 2017 – Carrollton, TX) Another fast start, combined with shut-down pitching from Spirits (35+) ace, Craig Molldrem was the perfect recipe for victory Thursday night as the club coasted against the Cubs, 12 to 1. Molldrem led the team once again by showing great command from the mound as he went the distance, giving up one earned run on 6 hits, with 10 strikeouts and only one base on balls.
A number of Spirits hitters were happy to hit up the box score, including lead off hitter, Cliff Brade, alongside outfielder, David Tipton, second baseman, Kirk Sipila, and first baseman, Chris Lewis. Each player was good for 2 hits on the night, which featured a double by Sipila, a triple by Brade, and 3 runs batted in from Tipton. The team exploded for 8 runs in the bottom half of the first inning and it was clear the Cubs team was deflated by the time the Spirits batted around.
“That was a heck of a start for us,” commented team skipper, Shawn Lee. “You almost feel bad when things are going that well for your team. We know a lot of those guy we’re playing against, and we’ve certainly been there, so when you score that many right away you really setup a mountain for the other team to climb. No disappointment by any means, but it just wasn’t the Cubs night for baseball.”
Brade led off the first inning by hitting a triple to left field. Tipton followed on the first of his two walks on the night and then proceeded to swap second base. On the throw to second, Brade made a heads-up move to use his speed and head for home and made it safely to give the Spirits a quick, 1-0 lead. After Sipila saw his count go to 2-1, Tipton made a dash for third and then later scored after Sipila knocked a 2-2 pitch to left-center for an RBI single. Slugger, Travis Hitzeman then reached on a fielder’s choice, squeezing Sipila at second, and the Spirits followed by loading the bases when Lee and Lewis each singled. Molldrem then drove in a run after being hit by a pitch and Lee followed Hitzeman to the plate after third baseman, John Showalter singled. The scoring continued after Patrick Bilgere was also hit by a pitch, and Jonathan Duran joined the scoring party by knocking in Molldrem with a sacrifice fly to right field. Brade reached a second time during the inning when team batted around and after he became the third victim to be hit by pitch. Both Showalter and Bilgere were able to score after Tipton singled during his second at-bat of the inning. All said and done, the team combined for 6 hits, a walk, and 3 batters hit by pitch to put up the snowman for an 8-0 first inning lead.
After that, it was essentially the Craig Molldrem show. The Cubs were able to muster a few hits against the fire-baller, but the Spirits defense proved solid to back Molldrem during the complete game as the club coasted the rest of the way. The Spirits picked up 4 more runs in the fourth inning, which featured a pair of singles by both Brade and Tipton, an 11-pitch walk and battle from Lee, a double by Sipila, additional singles by Hitzeman, Lewis, and Molldrem, and another additional free pass by Bilgere.
“Tipton had a great night at the plate. He’s having a great 2017 campaign on both our (35+) and (45+) squads,” continued Lee. “Sip (Sipila) was business as usual tonight, and you can always expect that Brade and Lewis are going to make contact at the plate. Solid win for us and we’ll look to keep the momentum going moving forward.”
The victory moves the team to a record of 7-1, where they remain atop the NTABL Veterans League Standings a half-game ahead of Modoc. The Spirits return to action next Thursday night as they host the Brewers at Jesuit College Preparatory in Dallas. First pitch is slated for 7:00PM.
Waxahachie Autoplex Players of the Game