(July 11, 2022 – Carrollton, TX) The Spirits (45+) offense was clicking, scoring in each and every inning they took to the dish as the squad prevailed by a score of 11 to 2 over the Thunderbirds on Monday night.
Chris Allen, Kirk Sipila, and Shawn Lee each finished with 2 hits on the night, with Allen adding a pair of doubles, 3 runs scored, an RBI, and a base-on-balls to his nearly perfect evening. Lee finished with 2 runs scored and a stolen base, while Sipila added a run scored and 2 runs batted in. Mike Sopocy finished 1-for-3 with a walk, run scored, and 2 runs batted in.
The Spirits jumped out to an early 2 to 0 lead in the bottom half of the first inning after starter, Earl German was able to get out of a bases loaded jam that included a pair of walks in the top half of the inning. Allen reached on an error and Sipila flew out, but Lee singled to put two on with one out. A passed ball allowed both runners to advance, and a single by Sopocy scored both Allen and Lee before David Tipton drew a walk during the team’s next at-bat. Thunderbirds starter, Jim Crombie was able to get both Will Nash and German to fly out to end the inning.
German set the ‘Birds in order in the second and the offense picked up right where it had left off, adding 3 more runs in the bottom frame to make to 5 to 0, Spirits. After Chris Lewis and John Holmquist both flew out, the team rallied after Lester Bedford drew a walk and Allen doubled to move him to third. Sipila singled home Bedford and advanced Allen to third, and Allen was able to then score two pitches later on a passed ball. Lee reached on an error that allowed Sipila to score and later stole second, but Crombie was able to get Sopocy on swings to end the inning.
A Spirits fielding error eventually led to a Thunderbirds run in the third to cut the lead down to, 5 to 1, but the Spirits picked up another pair of runs in the bottom of the third after Nash drew a one-out walk. German reached on an error to move Nash to second, and Lewis singled to load the bags. Holmquist reached on a fielder’s choice that squeezed German at third and allowed Nash to score, and both runners advanced to scoring position on a wild pitch. Bedford and Allen both walked, giving Allen an easy RBI before Sipila lined out to end the inning.
Marc Coll doubled in the fourth for the Thunderbirds and moved to third when Crombie grounded out. He eventually scored on a sacrifice fly RBI by Paul Dominguez to cut the Spirits lead to, 7 to 2. The Spirits then added three more runs in the bottom of the inning after Lee singled and moved to second on a base-on-balls to Sopocy. Tipton drew a walk to load the bases , and Lee was able to cross the dish when German grounded out to pick up the RBI. Sopocy eventually scored when Lewis grounded out and after Holmquist reached on an error, Tipton later scored in a wild pitch before Bedford grounded out.
Allen went on to pick up his second double in the fifth and scored on an RBI single by Sipila and the game was later called due to the league’s two-hour time limit. The Spirits will face off against the Rattlers next Monday night at Graham Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45PM.