(September 25, 2019 – Carrollton, TX) The good old Reds – Caddo Reds. Always a formidable opponent to the Spirits and after the two squads laced them up and took to the diamond on Wednesday night, it seemed the Spirits may escape with another big victory, but as always the Reds made a solid game of it.
The balance of power seemed off a bit as the Reds didn’t have their usual veteran pitcher, Dan Sosa on the mound and this latest edition of Spirits/Reds, it was Ryan Coleman versus the crafty right-handed veteran, Jonathan Duran for the ghosts.
After a quiet first inning, the Spirits were first to break the scoring ice after Shawn Lee picked up the first hit of the game for the ghosts when he slashed a hard line drive to the left-center field gap for a double. Lee then advanced to third after David Tipton singled and following some heads up base running, Lee was able to score after John Hefner grounded out. Tipton was able to advance to second on the play and after later swiping third, he made his way to the plate following an error by the Reds catcher and the Spirits had a 2 to 0 lead.
The Spirits opened up for 4 more runs in the third after Duran set down the Reds in the top half of the inning despite a pair of singles from Chris Duty and Sammy Vives. Grant Martin led off the Spirits half of the inning with a double that reached the warning track in right, and a walk and a passed ball put runners on the corners after Cliff Brade reached on the free pass. Brade quickly swiped second and after Eric Goetz grounded out, Martin was able to cross the plate to make it 3 to 0, Spirits. Kirk Sipila followed with an RBI single to score Brade and after Travis Hitzeman crushed a double to center, the Spirits had two additional runners in scoring position. Lee flew out to short left field and it wasn’t deep enough to score Sipila from third, but a follow up RBI single from Tipton made it 5 to 0 before Hitzeman was eventually able to make it 6 to 0 after scoring on a wild pitch.
The Reds rallied in the bottom half of the fourth to cut the lead in half after Michael Taliaferro singled to lead off the inning. He swiped second base and later moved to third after Hitzeman juggled a roller in the infield. Chris Duty then sliced a double to right, which allowed Taliaferro to score and after Duty advanced to third on an error by Martin in the outfield, he later scored after Vives reached on an single and Ryan Coleman followed up with another single. Huck Hibbard then reached on the third error in the inning by the Spirits that allowed Vives to score and finally, Duran was able to get Todd Murrah and Bill Macey to ground out to stop the bleeding.
The Spirits added a pair of runs in the sixth after Duran singled and moved to second on a passed ball. Martin went down on swings and after Brade reached on an error that allowed Duran to move to third, Duran was plated on a single by Goetz. Brade moved to third and Goetz swiped second and after a Reds fielding error, Brade made it 8 to 3, Spirits before Hitzeman flew out to end the insurance run.
The Reds added a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning, but Duran was able to stave off any comeback opportunity and Sipila added the exclamation point to pick up the save in the seventh.
“We’re looking much better this fall season,” commented Lee after the game. “We kicked it around again in the fourth inning, but we kept our heads this time. Seems more often than not, that ‘Spirits inning’ shows up and absolutely ruins us like we saw occur most of the summer. But we have a calmness about us this fall and I think we’ll be in the conversation at the end of the season. This would be a solid opportunity to erase the black eye that 2019 summer baseball gave us.”
The Spirits will have their work cut out for them as they face a solid Knights team next Wednesday night. Game is scheduled for 6:45PM at McInnish Park #11 in Carrollton. Click here for schedule details.