(September 24, 2017 – Plano, TX) Offense was in full swing and the pun was intended Sunday morning as the Spirits (Brazos) fall baseball squad rolled against the Dallas Bulls at Graham Field.
Patrick Bilgere was good for 3 hits as was Chris Lewis, who also put up the value of 3 in the RBI column along with pitcher, Kirk Sipila. After giving up an unearned run in the top half of the first inning, the Spirits exploded for 8 runs in the bottom half of the inning. David Tipton started the bleeding by drawing a walk and quickly advanced to second on a passed ball. Bilgere followed with a single to push Tipton to third and Sipila scored both runners after crushing a ground-rule double. The Bulls were able to retire Brian Hackney on a long fly ball, however the merry-go-round picked up again with Guy Koenig drawing a base on balls. Brant Finchum singled to score Sipila after Koenig stole second, and Lewis followed with an RBI single to score Koenig. Lewis then stole second and Dennis Gonzalez went down on strikes after battling 6 pitches and 5 foul balls. David Delk picked up his first run batted in as a Dallas Spirits, hitting a single to score Finchum and then followed Lewis to the plate after Jack Nash hit a double to the wall. Tipton reached on another walk for the second time in the inning and Bilgere picked up where he had left off by slapping in another RBI single to score Nash. After the Bulls were able to retire Sipila on a fly ball, the Spirits held an 8 to 1 lead.
The score remained steady until the top half of the third when the Bulls offense made some noise. Chris Huggins flew out to start the Bulls half of the inning and Jeff Jones singled with one out. Joseph Lane followed with another single to advance Jones to third and Jones later scored on a single by Paul Adams. Lane made his way to third on the hit and Adams advanced to second on the throw to the plate. Daniel Washington followed with the fourth straight single by the Bulls, good enough to score Lane and the lead was cut down, 8 to 3.
The Spirits rallied however, starting with Nash earning a free pass to first and then advancing to send and then third on a pair of wild pitches from replacement pitcher, Scott Buford. Nash was able to compete the “little-league” style scoring opportunity after the next pitch got past Huggins at the plate and the score was 9 to 3, Spirits. Tipton eventually earned his third base on balls and promptly stole second and then advanced to third on Bilgere’s third single of the day. Both runners would eventually make their way home on wild pitches that also allowed Sipila to reach base on a dropped third strike. Sipila later advanced to second on a single by Hackney, and Koenig drew a walk to load the bases. Lance Metcalf came in to replace Buford at pitcher, and in an unusual and a bit of a ridiculous scenario, the home plate umpire called out Finchum for stepping out of the batter’s box immediately after Finchum crushed a 2 RBI ground rule double that made its way over the left field fence. With the runners returning to their bases and one outs, Lewis reached on a fielder’s choice that squeezed Hackney at second, but turned out good enough to score Sipila and the Spirits led, 12 to 3.
The Bulls picked up a pair of runs in the fourth on a pair of walks from Metcalf and George Ebertin, and both runners were able to score when Lewis wasn’t able to handle a ground ball at second. The Spirits went on to score 4 more runs in the bottom of the fourth after Delk singled and Nash walked. Tipton pushed both runners to scoring position on a ground out, and after Bilgere loaded them with another free pass, Sipila singled to score Delk. Hackney reached on a fielder’s choice that squeezed Nash at home, however Koenig, Finchum, and Lewis each singled to score Bilgere, Sipila, and Hackney.
Finchum was able to close out the game defensively by setting the Bulls down in order and the Spirits were victorious with a landslide, 16 to 5 win. The team returns to action on Wednesday night as they visit the Caddo Reds at Graham Field. First pitch is scheduled for 8:45PM.