(June 11, 2018 – Plano, TX) The friendly confines of Graham Field on the grounds of Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano no longer appear friendly to the Dallas Spirits Baseball Club. The Spirits lost yet another game, this time interrupting the perfect season bid by the Spirits (45+) squad as the Reds rolled past the ghosts by a margin of 7 to 2.
Earl German went the distance for the Spirits, allowing 6 earned runs on 8 hits, walking one, hitting one, and striking out 4, however the combination of untimely errors cost the Spirits dearly. The Spirits stranded 7 runners and didn’t put together any timely combinations of hitting against Reds pitcher, Dan Sosa. Sosa also went the distance for the complete-game victory, allowing 2 runs on 8 hits, walking none, and striking out 2.
The Spirits appeared flat from the get go. The deflation process began early after Shawn Lee led off the game looking at a strike and then fouling off four straight. Lee then tagged a Sosa fast ball that appeared to be good for extra bases. The line drive took off toward the left field wall and appeared it would drop to the warning track, but Reds left fielder Sammy Vives completed a pirouette, circus catch to to take wind out of the sails for a fast start. Patrick Bilgere, who had a solid game defensively behind the plate, followed with a fly out and Kirk Sipila grounded out and the fast start was left in the “what-if” category.
The Reds started quickly after T.K. Hayes singled and then reached second after Spirits shortstop, Eric McPherson mishandled a grounder from Rich Beller that was certain to be a double-play. Marc Fagan followed with a single to score Hayes and the bases became loaded after German tagged Stacey Scott after being ahead with a 1-2 count. Sosa aided his own cause by slapping a 2 RBI single to left-center and the Reds had an early, 3 to 0 lead. Brant Finchum stopped the bleeding after Rob Medal grounded to him at third. Finchum tagged out Scott and fired to Sipila at second to force Sosa and the squad nearly completed the triple-play after Sipila relayed to first, but Medal beat out the throw. Vives later grounded out to kill the inning.
The Spirits appeared they might make a game of it in the top half of the second after Guy Koenig and Finchum both reached on singles to start the inning. Jack Nash popped up to the infield to hold the runners and McPherson loaded the bases with a single. Brian Hackney failed to take advantage of the runners in scoring position after also flying out to the infield, but German rallied his troops with a 2 RBI single, scoring Koenig and Finchum and made it runners on second and third after advancing McPherson and taking second on the throw. Sosa was able to get Mark Leemaster to pop out to end the Spirits rally.
That appeared to be all the Spirits had in the tank as the combination of errors defensively alongside a few timely Reds hits pushed the score to 6 to 2 in the bottom half of the inning. The Reds added another run in the third and went on to hold Spirits hitters the remainder of the contest.
Sipila finished with two hits on the night, as did McPherson. Koenig and Finchum also added singles to the box score along with a run scored, and Lee matched with a single as well to cap the Spirits offense. The loss blemishes the perfect, 9-0 start, but the team remains in first place at 9-1 atop the NTABL Masters League standings with the Reds just 2 games behind at 7-3.
The Spirits return to the diamond next Monday night as they host the North Dallas Bulls again at Graham Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30PM and you can click here to review schedule details, obtain directions to the game, or to download the iScore app to watch and listen to the game live, online!