(September 9, 2018 – Plano, TX) Sometimes a tip of your cap is all that you can do. Just ask the Spirits (35+) squad. The team watched their 45+ pitcher, Sean House work against them in a NTABL Veterans League playoff elimination game at Graham Field on Sunday night and all that was left to do at the end of the game was to praise House for his work. House went the distance allowing just 3 hits, 2 of which came off the bat of Patrick Bilgere. House wasted little time as the game was completed in 90 minutes and after the dust settled from the Spirits hitters going back and forth to the dugout from home plate, House pitched 7 complete while walking none and striking out 11 as Modoc defeated the Spirits, 2 to 0.
The additional disappointing aspect of the game is that DJ Carrasco also had an outstanding performance in the loss. The Spirits veteran pitcher also went the distance, allowing 2 earned off of 4 hits, while walking one and striking out 10. The 2 runs came in the first after a walk drawn by lead off hitter, Jerry Anderson. A single by David Lovell pushed Anderson to third and a single down the line from Steve Hahn allowed both runners to score. The second run was controversial as several players thought the call at the plate was inaccurate, however the additional run wouldn’t matter as the Spirits would be unable to get a runner past third.
Opportunity presented itself once and that was in the second inning when Bilgere picked up his first single and advanced to second after Brant Finchum singled just after Carrasco flew out. House made easy work of Shawn Lee after striking him out for the second out and the Spirits were briefly in business after a wild pitch allowed Bilgere and Finchum to get into scoring position at second and third. House refocused and was able to strike out Chris Lewis and that was as close as the Spirits were able to get.
The tale of the statistics showed House throwing 58 strikes compared to 11 balls, picking up the complete game victory in just 69 pitches. Hahn’s 2 RBIs led the offense for Modoc as they advance to the NTABL championship game against the Dallas Cardinals.
The Spirits finish the season at a mark of 13-7. The squad finished with a team batting average of .301 with 21 doubles, 3 triples, and one homerun on the season. The Spirits outscored their opponents by a 140-92 margin, recorded 157 hits and held their opponents to a batting average of .290. Additionally, the squad doubled their opponents in walks 72-37, but also struck out more than their opponents with a totals of 104-85. The team had a clear advantage once runners were aboard after swiping 68 bases compared to giving up just 15 stolen bags.
“We had a pretty solid year,”Lee commented following his team’s loss and exist from the playoffs. “We obviously had a goal of reaching the championship and part of me feels we lost it when we dropped that game last week to the Cardinals. But losing only makes the winning sweeter. We had a taste of being champions last season and hopefully this makes us more hungry for next season. Several of us struggled offensively, probably none more than myself and that could have made a world of difference in a few of these games. We relied heavily on the guys who were producing and we also had some guys really step up and crush it this season. Patrick Bilgere comes to mind. He had a hell of a year. And Kirk Sipila was the cornerstone of our offense once again. We’ve got a solid foundation and we’ll most certainly be back. As far as tonight goes? What is there to say? (Sean) House killed us. It looked like he was throwing a whiffle ball. I feel bad for DJ. He didn’t deserve a loss with his performance either. Regardless, we’ll learn from it and move forward.”
The loss ends the summer season for all of the Dallas Spirits teams and the Spirits (18+) squad will be returning for the shortened fall season and so will the Spirits (35+) squad. Both teams kick off fall action this coming Sunday. Check back to www.spiritsbaseball.com for schedule information and more.
The Dallas Spirits Baseball Club would like to thank all of you for supporting the teams, players, friends, family and fans during the 2018 campaign. From all of us to all of you, thank you!
Waxahachie Autoplex Players of the Game