(June 20, 2022 – Plano, TX) It was another game of boot the baseball, and the behated “Spirits Inning” rang loud and clear as the Spirits (45+) essentially gave up their last opportunity to hold pace for a regular season title. The team dropped to 7-3, dealing with their second straight loss in NTABL Masters League play, following an evening that featured 5 errors and a blown 5-run lead late in the game.
Spirits starter, Earl German dealt for 5 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits, walking 3 and striking out one before something ignited in the Reds offense when the Spirits turned to Sean House to close things up. Reds bats came alive, pouncing on house and the Spirits defense for 7 runs, 4 earned on 7 hits in the remaining two innings to battle back from a 7 to 2 deficit, to earn a 9 to 7 victory.
Ahead 7 to 2 in the sixth inning, Daniel Washington reached on a one-out single off of House and Chris Duty drew a walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and after Johann Johnson grounded out, Washington scored. A fielding error allowed Sammy Vives to reach and for Duty to cross the dish and despite another single by Anthony Osburn and a walk to Stacy Scott, the Spirits were able to get out of the inning after House was able to get James Roberts to ground out with the bases load, and to hold a 7 to 4 lead.
The Spirits offense did nothing in the bottom half of the inning, but the Reds picked up where they had left off as the teams entered the 7th. The team rallied for a run on a passed ball after a pair of singles started the inning, and another 3 straight singles cut the lead to 7 to 6. A pickoff attempt by Spirits catcher, Lester Bedford found both bad timing and the outfield as the ball got past Travis Hitzeman at third and allowed two additional runners to cross the dish. Vives was able to reach on a fielder’s choice that allowed another run to score before a pair of outs finally got the Spirits to stop the bleeding.
Now trailing 9 to 7, the team took to the bottom of the seventh in hopes of a comeback, but Scott set the Spirits in order to end the game and handed the ghosts their second straight loss. House, Kirk Sipila, and Hitzeman led the box for the Spirits, each finishing with a pair of hits. Hitzeman and Shawn Hunt added doubles, with Hitzeman also adding a run scored and a pair of runs batted in. Hunt also added 2 runs batted in, as did Brian Hackney. Steven Nutt and Washington led the Reds, each finishing with 3 hits, with Washington adding a double, and each player adding 2 runs scored and an RBI.
The only bright side of the story is that the team currently remains locked in as the number two seed as the teams head down the final stretch of the regular season. That could change, however the Spirits will have the opportunity to keep their current place with a win over the Hurricanes next Monday night. Game time is 8:45PM at McInnish Park, Field #11. Click here for schedule details.