(July 9, 2018 – Plano, TX) The Spirits (45+) squad moved to 13-1 on the season with a solid victory Monday night over the North Dallas Bulls. With 4 games left to play on the regular season schedule, the ghouls hold a 3 game lead over the Caddo Reds in NTABL Masters League play.
The offense kicked in quickly against Bulls pitcher, Jay Keeton in the top half of the first inning after David Tipton led things off by reaching on a Bulls fielding error. Keeton made two quick pick-off attempts toward Tipton at first and upon delivering his first pitch to the next Spirits hitter, Brant Finchum, Tipton promptly stole second. Finchum followed by drawing a walk and both runners were able to advance on a wild pitch. Eric McPherson followed with a deep shot to left field that was dropped by left fielder, Chris Allen and both runners were able to score while McPherson made his way to second. Keeton was able to get Chris Lewis on swings, but 3 pitches later, McPherson was able to score on another wild pitch and the Spirits led, 3 to 0 before Keeton and company were able to retire Kirk Sipila and Patrick Bilgere.
Allen was able to reach on a one-out single in the bottom half of the first but was later forced at second when Mark Coll reached on a fielder’s choice. Sipila was able to retire Keeton on a ground out to kill the inning.
The Spirits added run number 4 in the the second after Shawn Lee lined a one-out single to left and stole second. Lee was able to take third on a passed ball and later scored when John Holmquist reached on a throwing error by the Bulls shortstop.
Sipila set the Bulls in order in the bottom half of the inning and the Spirits made it 7 to 0 in the third after McPherson singled and stole second. Lewis drew a base-on-balls and McPherson was later squeezed at third when Sipila reached on a fielder’s choice. Bilgere reached on a Bulls error to load the bases for the Spirits and Brian Hackney popped out on an infield fly call. It appeared the Bulls might get out of the inning, but Lee followed with an RBI single to score Lewis and both Sipila and Bilgere later scored on a single by Mark Leemaster.
The Spirits added a pair of runs in the fourth after Tipton led the inning off with a single and then made his way to third after Finchum flew out and the Bulls outfield followed with a throwing error. McPherson followed up with a double to the left field wall to score Tipton and later after swiping third, scored on a single by Lewis.
Lee, Leemaster, and McPherson carried the Spirits offensively each with a pair of hits, with McPherson tacking on the double, 2 runs scored, and a pair of RBIs. Leemaster finished with 2 RBIs of his own, and Lee completed his night with a run scored and an RBI. Allen, Keeton, Michael Nurenburg, and Jim Crombie each had a single for the Bulls.
Sipila picked up the victory for the Spirits with 3 innings of work, allowing 2 hits and walking one, and Finchum matched the effort exactly in two innings of closing work.
The team returns to action next Monday night as the visit the DFW Hurricanes at Graham Field starting at 6:30PM. 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, online!