(September, 18, 2018 – Carrollton, TX) There’s a handful of new faces and there’s a few new squads to exchange blows with as the Spirits (18+) regroups for a shortened NTABL Trinity Division Fall season. The squad struggled during the opening weekend to field a team and subsequently had to hand over a forfeiture to the Dodgers, but the team was able to fill the positions Tuesday night at McInnish Park in Carrollton and as it turns out, the combination put together was good enough for a victory.
Duane Aponte, co-handling management duties alongside teammate, Teddy Croft put together a make-shift group of guys including a few familiar faces and the squad was able to take down The Dark Horse by a score of, 6 to 4. Aponte went the distance as the team’s pitcher as well, allowing just 3 earned off of 6 hits, while walking a pair and striking out 7.
The Dark Horse struck first with a run in the bottom half of the first after a pair of singles and a walk led to a run to give the Horse a 1 to 0 lead. The Spirits quickly tied things in the top half of the second after Holden Novak led off the inning with a single. Novak stole second and later advanced to third on a passed ball during an at-bat by Eric Goetz, which resulted in a strike out swinging. Novak was then able to score to tie the game on a single by Sam Tanner. The Spirits remained in business after Leo Hernandez was hit by a pitch delivered from Nolan Snell, but the runners were left behind after Snell made quick work of Aponte and Rudy Lucas with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
The score remained tied at one until the top half of the third inning when Croft drew a two-out walk. Mike Werner followed with an RBI double to the wall to score Croft and the Spirits had the lead at 2 to 1. Aponte held The Dark Horse bats under control, but the squad rallied to take the lead in the bottom half of the fourth after a lead off single. The Spirits defense was able to retire the next two hitters at the plate but a double compounded by a fielding error allowed The Dark Horse to add a pair of runs and to obtain the lead, 3 to 2 heading into the fifth.
The Spirits fought back after Lucas went down on swings to start the top half of the fifth inning when Mike Anderson drew a base-on-balls and later advanced to second after Cliff Brade wore a pitch form Snell. Croft followed with a single to load the bases and another double by Werner plated all three runners to give the Spirits a 5 to 3 lead.
The Spirits then made it 6 to 3 in the sixth after Tanner singled and was later squeezed when Hernandez reached on a fielder’s choice. With one on and one down, Hernandez stole second and later reached third on a passed ball. Aponte struck out swinging to create the second out, but Lucas was able to reach on an error that was good enough to score Hernandez. Anderson drew another walk to keep the inning alive, but Brade went down on swings to kill the insurance rally.
Aponte was able to close out the game despite giving up a walk that later turned into a stolen base and an RBI following a two-out single by The Dark Horse. The rally fell short however as Aponte was able to add the victory exclamation point by striking out the last hitter to end the game before the league’s 2 hour time limit was up.
The win evens up the team’s record at 1-1 in Fall league play and the squad will return to action on Sunday as they host the Dallas Orioles starting at 12:00PM. The field and location are currently TBD, but click back here to check on schedule details, to obtain driving directions, or to download the iScore Central app to watch and listen to the game live, online.