(March 31, 2021 – Euless, TX) Runs and hits were abound Wednesday night as the Spirits (40+) offense absolutely unleashed its fury against the Rangers Wednesday night in DFW-ABA 40+ League action. The Spirits finished with 24 runs off of 24 hits before the dust settled, cruising to a 24 to 5 win.
It was the Rangers who struck first, earning a 3 to 0 lead after the Spirits went in order in the top half of the first. The score remained the same after the top half of the second, despite a one-out single by Aaron Wilson followed by Eric Goetz wearing a pitch. Brant Finchum loaded the bases with another single, but the Rangers were able to pick-off Wilson at third after he fell asleep. Stacy Scott grounded out and the inning was quickly over.
After setting down the Rangers in order in the second, the Spirits offense returned in the top half of the third and started a small hitting display. David Tipton singled to lead things off and a balk called on the Rangers starter, Craig Holmes allowed Tipton to advance to second. Shawn Hunt went down on strikes, but a follow up single by Eric McPherson scored Tipton and put the Spirits on the board. Kirk Sipila reached on a fielder’s choice that squeezed McPherson at second, but the offense kept the door open with two outs after Travis Hitzeman doubled to score Sipila and Shawn Lee followed with a double to score Hitzeman. Lee stole third to move up and scored two pitches later on an RBI single from Wilson. Goetz wore his second pitch of the game to put two on and a double by Brant Finchum scored both runners and the Spirits had a 6 to 3 lead before Scott flew out to end the inning.
The Rangers rallied for a run in the bottom of the third to keep it a game, but with a 6 to 4 lead heading into the fourth inning, the Spirits decided to hit for a while. Tipton singled to lead things off and Hunt pushed him to second with another single. Jonathan Duran reached on an error and with bases loaded, McPherson cleared them with a double to the gap in left. The Rangers turned to Gary Jackson to pitch, but the hitting continued. Sipila singled before Hitzeman flew out, but another double by Lee scored both McPherson and Sipila and the Spirits were up, 11 to 4. Wilson was able to reach on an error and advanced to second on the throw and with he and Lee in scoring position, Goetz relieved his anger for being hit twice with a triple to the wall to score both runners. Finchum followed with an RBI single and Scott kept the inning going with another single. Tipton, batting for the second time in the inning reached on an error to load the bags and a single by Hunt added another Spirits run. Duran drew a base-on-balls to push in another run and Tipton scored on a wild pitch to make it 17 to 4 before McPherson grounded out to score run number 18 in the form of Hunt. Sipila grounded out to end the inning.
The Rangers picked up another run in the bottom half of the inning to cut it to, 18 to 5, but the Spirits offense unloaded for another 6 runs in the fifth after the Rangers turned to pitcher, Lance Metcalf in hopes of setting the ghosts off balance. Hitzeman doubled to start off the inning and Lee flew out. Wilson scored Hitzeman on an RBI single and a walk to Goetz moved him to second. Finchum singled to load the bases again and a single by Scott scored Wilson. Tipton followed with another single to score Goetz, and Hunt earned an easy RBI to score Finchum after wearing a pitch. Another single by Duran scored Scott and after McPherson recorded the second Spirits out in the inning, Sipila followed up with an RBI single to score Tipton. Hitzeman flew out to end the inning, but the Spirits had a 24 to 5 lead.
Sipila, who was in relief of Duran closed things up and shut down the Rangers in the top half of the fifth before the game was called due to the league’s mercy rule. Duran picked up the victory after going 3 innings, allowing 3 earned off of 5 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 3. Sipila went 2 innings, alling one run off of one hit, walked one, and struck out 2.
Every Spirits hitter finished with at least one hit. McPherson finished with a pair of hits, a run scored, and 5 RBIs. Sipila, Hitzeman, Scott, and Hunt each finished with a pair of hits with Lee recording a pair of doubles, 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs. Finchum was the hottest of them all, finishing a perfect 4-for-4, with a double, 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs.
The team returns to action next Wednesday night and they’ll have their hands full as they face the LS Spurs, who have started off the season a perfect, 4-0. First pitch is slated for 6:30PM and you can click here for schedule details or to download the iScore Central app to listen to Spirits games live online.