(June 6, 2018 – Dallas, TX) The offense continues to be missing for the Spirits (18+) squad and after starting the inaugural season in the NTABL Open National League at a perfect 7-0, the team has dropped four straight and is struggling to find answers. The Spirits lost to last season’s champion, the Dallas Panthers by a score of 9 to 1 at Reverchon Park in Uptown on Wednesday night. The win for the Panthers is just their third on the season, with two of those three victories coming from the Spirits.
The Spirits mustered just 4 hits, 2 of which came from team manager/player, John Showalter. Showalter belted a pair of doubles hitting from the nine-spot and provided the team’s only run batted in. Nate Martinez singled to start the top half of the third and later scored after Showalter tattooed a 3-2 pitch into the left center-field gap. Cliff Brade recorded the team’s only other hit and in the last four games, the Spirits have been outscored 28-5. Despite the four game skid, the team remains in first place, atop the Open National League standings at a record of 7-4 and two games ahead of The Dark Horse (5-3-2).
“It’s a landslide and I don’t have an answer,” commented Showalter after his team’s loss. “You can throw out phrases like, ‘back to basics,’ or we can think about meeting to hit in the cages. I don’t know what to say. We scattered like ants being sprayed with poison after the game and I think that speaks volumes on how we’re handling this. Nobody said we were going to run through this league. We have a ton of respect for the talent in this league. But to see heads down, and to see some of the fight being lost? I don’t recognize that at all. It’s time for a gut-check.”
The Panthers coasted against the ghosts, putting up 2 in the first, 4 in the second, and adding another 3 runs in the fifth. Showalter handled pitching duties as well, based on a limited roster that was available for the game. He went the distance, pitching 6 complete innings, allowing 4 earned on 7 hits, walking 2, and striking out 3.
“I’m no Cy Young,” continued Showalter, “but 6 errors on the field doesn’t help. But the score is moot if you can’t score runs. The combination of no offense and errors in the field is plaguing us. I just hope we can turn it around so we can bring some momentum into the postseason.”
The team returns to the diamond next Wednesday night as they visit The Dark Horse. First pitch is slated for 8:45PM at Reverchon Park in Uptown. Click here for schedule details, to obtain directions to the game, or to download the iScore Central app to watch and listen to the game live!