(July 22, 2018 – Plano, TX) The offense sputtered while both teams roasted on the turfed baseball field at John Paul II High School in NTABL National League play this past Sunday evening. While the Spirits (18+) squad struggled defensively, the Outlaws appeared unscathed by the heat whether it be from Mother Nature or Spirits pitching. The Outlaws used a 15-hit attack combined with 7 Spirits errors to coast to a 10 to 3 victory behind the arms of Adam Lasek, Tyler King, and David Humen.
Brian Gaffney and Humen carried the Outlaws offensively with 3 hits each, while Glen Wilson added a 4-hit performance including a double. The Spirits on the other hand relied on 2 hits by Cliff Brade while several others picked up hits for a total of 8 hits on the night against Outlaws pitching. Kyle Redinger, Cody Bishop, and JR Rivera each added a double on the night, but hitting wasn’t timely for the Spirits and leaving 9 runners on base left the offense ineffective against a defense that was filled with holes all evening.
Holden Novak took the start for the Spirits and the loss despite a shaky defense, delivering 6 innings of work while allowing 4 earned runs on 8 hits, walking one and striking out 5. Carlos Soto looked good in an inning and two thirds of work, allowing 2 earned on 2 hits, walking one and striking out 3. Conner Camacho finished the night, going an inning and a third while allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and adding a strikeout.
The loss shakes up the seeding in the league standings, allowing the Dallas Panthers to take the top spot for now with the Spirits dropping to the two position with one game remaining in the regular season.
The Outlaws led the game 3 to 1 until the sixth when they added 3 additional runs to make it 6 to 1. The Spirits rallied after Rivera struck a one-out double and later scored on as single by Brade. Brade was able to take second on the throw home and would later score to cut the lead down to, 6 to 3 after an Outlaws error that allowed Novak to reach safely. That appeared to be all the Spirits had left in the tank as the squad went in order during the eighth after the Outlaws put up 4 additional runs to make it 10 to 3. Brade was able to reach on a two-out error in the ninth and Novak followed with reaching on a base-on-balls, but Redinger was called out on strikes to end the game.
“Not a lot to say about this one,” mentioned manager, John Showalter following the game. “The heat was brutal. Our fielding was brutal. Our decision making was brutal. I don’t think anyone is particularly happy with their performance tonight so we’ll put this one behind us. But at this point, we have to put it behind us for good. There’s just no place for this kind of play this late in the season. We’ve had issues with rhythm due to the numerous cancellations of games we’ve had to deal with, so I’ll understand that factor, but if we play like this in the postseason it’s going to be an early exit. Now we have to sit 10 days before we play again and hope that we can take a 1 game rhythm forward into the playoffs. It really hasn’t been a smooth year of playing baseball, but that entirely a different discussion.”
The team goes idle with an unusual 10 day break before it finally plays the regular season finale against The Dark Horse on Wednesday, August 1st at Graham Field located on the grounds of Prestonwood Christian Academy. You can click here for schedule details, obtain driving directions to the game, or to download the iScore Central app to watch and listen to the game live, online.