(August 20, 2020 – Plano, TX) Father Time always wins and that particular phrase is starting to become a reality for the Spirits (35+) squad. A team that has struggled to hit most of the season, the Spirits once again found themselves out-hit and out-played as they fell to the Thunderbirds 6 to 2 Thursday night on Graham Field at Prestonwood Christian Academy.
The ghosts mustered just 5 hits against 12 from the birds and Thunderbirds starting pitcher, Brent Smerczynski had his way with most of the lineup finishing with a complete-game win after allowing 2 earned on 5 hits while walking one and striking out 8. Brian Hackney finished with a pair of hits and an RBI and Shawn Lee finished with a hit and the only 2 runs scored by the Spirits.
The Thunderbirds jumped on top after scoring 2 runs in the top half of the second and the Spirits followed suit in the bottom half of the second after Lee reached on a one-out single and Hackney moved him to second on a follow-up single. Shawn Hunt reached on an error that allowed Lee to score to make it, 2 to 1. The Thunderbirds opened things up with another 3 runs in the fourth inning to boost the lead to, 5 to 1 before the Spirits were able to scrounge up another run in the fifth which ended up being their last.
Duane Aponte had a solid outing for the Spirits, going the distance and allowing only 4 earned, but a pair of fielding errors and lackluster offense was a recipe for another loss. Aponte and Kirk Sipila were the only other two Spirits batters to earn a hit. Brade Bode and Rob Carroll led the Thunderbirds box score with a pair of hits each as did Donald Massoud. Carroll finished with a double and Massoud ended the night with a triple and a pair of RBIs.
“Not much to comment about,” noted Lee following his team’s loss. “We’re really missing our big pitchers, but we just can’t seem to hit in this league for some reason. I’m at a loss to pinpoint it. We have time to get it together, but there are several teams getting it done way better than us right now. I’m not sure our entire dugout is motivated to win an NTABL championship. Hoping I’m proved wrong at some point.”
The Spirits won’t have much time to turn things around as they face league-leading Modoc next Thursday night. The Spirits tied Modoc earlier in the season but improved pitching and new additions have only made Modoc a stronger foe. The teams face off at 6:30PM and you can click here for schedule details or for instructions on how to download the iScore Central app to listen to games live online.