(July 8, 2018 – Plano, TX) Sometimes the closer games hurt even more than the games where a team is blown out. Just ask the Spirits (18+) how they felt after being tied 1 to 1 for nearly seven innings that featured a no-hitter for pitcher, Holden Novak.
Novak left the Panthers hitless with 2 outs in the seventh before Jeffrey Schaffert struck gold with a double and later scored after Kevin Weidlich singled to give the Panthers a 2 to 1 lead and ultimately, the victory as it would turn out. Novak pitched eight complete innings, allowing one earned run on 2 hits, while walking 4 and striking out 9 only to see his work of art tarnished by another offensive struggle by the struggling Spirits roster.
John Cleaveland drew a base-on-balls in the first and advanced to second on a ground out by Jeff Nutt. Cleaveland then stole third and made his way to the plate on an errant throw by the Spirits catcher, and that proved to be the difference later in the game after the Panthers were able to put together a pair of hits for the earned run.
For the Spirits, the only sign of scoring came in the first after Kyle Redinger drew a two-out walk and reached third after Teddy Croft singled. Redinger was able to score on a throwing error by the Panthers infield and that was the only run the Spirits would see cross the plate as the team battled the heat from the John Paul II High School turf. There were additional signs of scoring opportunity, but the team once again failed to find an appropriate combination of hitting and luck, for that matter to plate any additional runs to work with Novak’s pitching gem.
John Showalter crushed a ground-ruled double that bounced off the left field foul pole in the fourth, but Panthers pitcher, Blake Martin was busy with his own pitching gem and he proceeded to strike out Eric Goetz and JP Seider to kill the inning. Altogether, the Spirits were able to come up with 6 hits in the game, but Martin was dealing. In seven innings of work, Martin allowed one earned run off of 5 hits, while walking one and striking out 10.
“Our heads are still high,” commented Showalter after the game. “The guys is this league can play. We may have been a bit spoiled to start the season but as I noted last game, we’re getting better. The pitchers in this league are the real deal and frankly, we just need to get better at hitting. We’ll get there, and hopefully soon.”
Redinger led the Spirits with a pair of hits, and alongside Showalter’s double, Cliff Brade, Croft, and Goetz all made the box score with a hit on the day. The team returns to action on Wednesday night as they host The Dark Horse at Texas Airhogs Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6:30PM and you can 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!
Dallas Spirits Baseball Club Players of the Game