(September 21, 2016 – Carrollton, TX) It would appear that the Spirits Fall team has something to prove in 2016. After the number one seeded Summer team fell unexpectedly in the playoffs, a core group of players combined with some new talent has put up double-digits in each of its first three games. This time, their victim was the Cubs as the team used a 16-hit offensive onslaught to coast over the veteran Cubs by a margin of 14 to 6.
Shawn Lee led all hitters with a 3 for 4 performance including a double, while several others put up big numbers as well. Cliff Brade, Kyle Redinger, Michael Werner, and Jonathan Duran each tripled including a back to back to back scenario in the 5th inning. The game was scoreless after two innings completed before the visiting Spirits drew first blood. Jack Nash walked and advanced to second when Jordan Scott singled with one out in the inning. Brade wore a pitch to load the bases and Nash scored when Brant Finchum drew a walk. Redinger flew out and Werner played hero with a single to score Scott and Brade, however the inning ended when the Spirits got greedy, sending Finchum home as well who was tagged out on a throw to home.
The Cubs bounced back quickly in the bottom half of the third after Roger Battani doubled and Scott McCain Singled. Brad Leveridge followed up with a single to score Battani and Duran was able to strike out Justin Toone and to get Scott Bale to ground out. With two on and two out, Michaal Hepburn reached on a Spirits error scoring McCain and Leveridge also scored on an additional Spirits throwing error.
“I was a bit perturbed at that point to say the least,” noted team skipper Shawn Lee. “We’ve got Duran pitching his second game in two days and we get in a position to get out from a fast start that inning by the Cubs and then we start throwing the ball around. Man, we’re good at doing that. Fortunately the guys were able to settle in and we put some offense together. I was a little uncertain where we were headed at that moment.” Duran was able to get Stacey Scott to ground out and the score was tied 3 to 3 after three innings complete.
The Spirits picked up another run in the fourth after Duran, Lee, and David Tipton each singled. David Dillon drew and RBI walk and the Spirits led 4 to 3 after three and a half complete. Duran shut down the Cubs in the fourth and the Spirits added 3 more in the top of the fifth after Finchum singled and Redinger, Werner, and Duran each tripled back to back. Brade debuted to pitch for some mop-up and was able to get the Cubs in order to end five innings of play. In the sixth, Dillon wore a pitch and scored alongside Brade who walked after Redinger dropped an inside-the-park homerun that went to the wall. The Spirits went on to score 3 more runs in the seventh after Scott doubled and Brade tripled before the Cubs ended the game with a short rally.
A number of Spirits hitters went big including Finchum who doubled, walked, and scored twice including adding a run batted in. Redinger and Werner each had a pair of hits including 4 RBI and 3 RBI, respectively. Duran added a pair of hits including a triple, a run scored, and an RBI, and Tipton and Scott each hit twice with a double by Scott, who also scored two runs and added an RBI.
“I’m excited about our potential,” continued Lee. “We’ve got some great bats and some great arms on this squad. If we can play some fundamental baseball defensively, I like our chances this Fall season.”
The Spirits return to action on Sunday as they take on the Braves at Graham Field. First pitch is 4:15 PM.