(June 6, 2017 – Carrollton, TX) The Spirits Open (18+) squad rolled into Tuesday night’s match-up versus the Athletics riding a short, two game win streak and needing a win to remain in a virtual tie with the Oak Cliff Pelicans atop the NTABL Open American League Standings. The Athletics on the other hand, with a record of 2-13, were playing with much less on the line.
In what would turn out to essentially be a no contest, the Spirits offense wasted little time showing their dominance by jumping on A’s starting pitcher, River Stone early and often. The ghouls scored 8 runs in the first 2 innings, with hits coming from each part of the batting the order. The club got after Stone for 7 runs in the top half of the first inning starting with a one out triple by Teddy Croft. Collin Statcha followed with his ninth hit-by-pitch and advanced to third when Mike Werner doubled to score Croft. A pair of singles by John Showalter and Cliff Brade scored both Werner and Stacha to give the Spirits a 3 to 0 lead, and the score quickly reached 5 to 0 after designated hitter, Duane Aponte doubled off a 1-0 pitch deep to left-center field. Adam Brown and Kyle Redinger both walked and Aponte and Brown were able to score after Justin Anderson singled to round up the 7-run first.
Redinger, taking his first start on the mound following early season foot surgery, showed poise and tenacity as he wasted no time dispatching A’s hitters. Redinger struck out Ricky Robles and then completed a 10-pitch first inning after getting both Ian Graves and River Stone to fly out. Throughout the game, the A’s would only scatter three hits, two of which came from Jeff Hamm. Outside of taking advantage of a few Spirits defensive miscues, the A’s failed to push any runs across during Redinger’s five strong innings of work. Redinger went on to strike out 8 different A’s hitters while allowing only 2 hits.
The offensive attack for the Spirits slowed for a handful of innings as Stone finally settled in behind some solid infield play by the A’s defense. The ghosts picked up a run in both the second and fifth innings to increase their lead to 9 to 0 after six innings of play. Thomas Stoltz, playing in his last game as an unmarried man, followed in relief of Redinger for the final two innings. Stoltz followed in Redinger’s foot steps, allowing only one hit, while striking out 4 batters in his 2 innings of work.
In what appeared to be a completed contest, the teams headed into the seventh and final inning as Stone continued his work on the mound with a pitch count climbing well above 130 pitches. As his velocity and command diminished, Spirits bats once again came alive with hits from Brade, Brown, Redinger, and Anderson. The Spirits tacked on five more runs in the top of the seventh as they cruised to a 14 to 0 shutout.
“We did what we were supposed to do out there,” commented Showalter following his team’s landslide win. “We were fortunate to string some hits together early on and that helped us out. Kyle did a terrific job making ‘out’ pitches and it was great to see him back in the arsenal. Very solid performance tonight.”
With the win, the Spirits take their late season record to 13-3, needing one more win to all but clinch a playoff birth. The boys in blue take the field again Sunday at 2:00PM as they host the Indians at Jesuit College Preparatory. Click here for schedule details or to watch the game live, online.