(May 14, 2018 – Plano, TX) It took a few innings for the Spirits (45+) bats to awaken, but when they did it was high octane and enough to allow the ghouls to pull away from the Hurricanes Baseball Club Monday night at Graham Field.
Lefty, Earl German went the distance for the Spirits picking up his second win to raise the team’s record to a perfect, 7-0 start. German pitched all seven innings, allowing just one earned run on 4 hits, while striking out 6. German also carried some of the load on offense, finishing 2 for 3 on the evening with a run scored and a run batted in.
Chris Lewis remained on fire from the plate, also finishing with a 2 for 3 performance that included a double, RBI, and 2 runs scored. Kirk Sipila also capped off a 2 hit performance, going 2 for 2 on the evening with a run batted in. Every Spirit in the lineup hit safely except for two, and that included a double on the evening for Guy Koenig, who also finished with a run scored and a run batted in.
The game was quiet initially, with the teams playing through the third inning before the Spirits added a run in the bottom half of the inning. Jack Nash led off the Spirits half of the third with a single and stole second base. David Tipton pushed Nash to third with a single of his own and the Spirits had runners at the corners with nobody out. Mark Leemaster then hit a fly ball to left-center field while Tipton took off for second. The Hurricanes corralled the fly ball for the first out, and then caught Tipton trying to head back to first. There was a slight amount of confusion by the Hurricanes who simply could have thrown the ball to first, but rather chased down Tipton, which then allowed Nash to take home during the play. Tipton was subsequently forced out at first for a double-play, but Nash made it 1 to 0 with heads-up base running.
The Hurricanes made the score 1 to 1 in the fifth after Chris Crombar led things off with a triple. German was able to strike out Michael Madsen, however Eric Reifschneider followed up with a single to score Crombar and the game was tied before German struck out Jose Guevara and was able to get Paul Dominguez to ground out.
The Spirits rebounded in the latter half of the inning after Lewis led the inning off with a single and stole second. Sipila was hit by a pitch and Brant Finchum followed up with a single. Brian Hackney then provided the Spirits with the lead after singling and scoring Lewis and the Spirits appeared poised for a big inning. The Hurricanes saved face however, after Nash grounded to short to reach on a fielder’s choice after Sipila was cut down at the plate. Finchum was next to be cut down at home after another infield ground ball was unable to move the runners over, and a base-running miscue by Koenig running for Hackney ended in a double-play to kill the Spirits fifth.
The score remained 2 to 1 Spirits until the bottom of the sixth when the team’s offense exploded for 5 runs. Leemaster singled to start off the inning and Eric McPherson flew out to leave one on with one down. Leemaster stole second and then later scored on a single by Patrick Bilgere. Bilgere was able to advance on the throw to the plate and remained on second after Shawn Lee grounded out to third. German followed with a two-out single to score Bilgere and the Spirits were up 4 to 1. Koenig followed with a double to score German and Lewis replaced him at second with another double, which plated Koenig and the Spirits led 6 to 1. Sipila followed with his second single on the evening to score Lewis and the game appeared to be in check.
German finished the Hurricanes, 1-2-3 in the seventh and the Spirits had themselves another victory. “Another solid evening from the guys,” commented Sipila following the game. “German was outstanding tonight on the bump. He had a solid mix of pitches to shut down their hitters. The bats looked solid once again and we had another one of those innings when we strung a set of hits together and that proved to be the difference. Great job overall by the fellas.”
The Spirits remain atop the NTABL Masters League standings at a perfect, 7-0 while the Caddo Reds remain in chase at 5-2. The ghosts return to action next Monday night as they’ll host those same Caddo Reds at McInnish Park, Field #11 in Carrollton. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45PM. Click here to review schedule details, obtain directions to the game, or to download the iScore Central app to watch and listen to the game live!