First Inning Snowman Carries Spirits (40+) Past Bees

(April 17, 2024 – Carrollton, TX) It was kind of over right after it started. The Spirits (40+) squad came out in the top half of the first with the nitros already fired on offense, blitzkrieging the Killer Bees with an 8-run first and the ghosts never looked back.

Cliff Brade led the Spirits with a 3-for-4 performance, adding 2 runs scored, a run batted in, and 2 stolen bags. Shawn Lee added a pair of hits including a triple, scored twice, knocked in 3 runs and also stole a bag, while Eric McPherson also added a pair of hits including a triple, scored twice, walked, and also finished with a run batted in. Several other Spirits hitters faired well, including Mike Sopocy, who added a hit, two walks, a run and an RBI to complete highlights from the Spirits box score.

Starting pitcher, Jonathan Duran allowed 0 earned in 4 innings of work, allowing just 4 hits while walking 2. Earl German close out the final inning of the shortened mercy-rule game allowing 1 hit and striking out one.

Brade led off the game with a single and after stealing both second and third base, he scored easily when McPherson tripled. McPherson later scored on a wild pitch before Travis Hitzeman grounded out. Lee singled and then stole second base before Sopocy drew one of his two walks. Eric Goetz then singled to load the bases and Lee scored 4 pitches later when Killer Bees starter, David Diaz put another pitch into the dirt. German also walked to load the bases a second time and a trend began to set in as Sopocy was able to score on another wild pitch from Diaz. A walk to David Tipton loaded them a second time, and two pitches later Goetz scored on the fourth wild pitch of the inning by Diaz. Stacy Scott went down on swings but two pitches later, you guessed it, German scored on the fifth wild pitch from Diaz in the inning to give the ghosts a 7 to 0 lead. Two more pitches later; wild pitch number six plated Tipton before Duran finally drew a walk. With a 7 to 0 lead, the Bees turned to Miguel Herrera to pitch and Brade welcomed him to the game with his second hit in the inning. McPherson followed with his second hit of the inning to score Duran before Hitzeman went down looking to close of the top half of the first.

“Honestly, it was in our benefit but man, it was hard to watch,” Lee mentioned later referring back to the first inning. “He couldn’t throw a strike to save his life. And when he did, we knocked it into the field for a hit. We were actually happy to see them change pitchers.”

The Bees scampered for a run in the bottom of the second after Charles Carr reached on a Spirits fielding error. Carr stole second base before Armenta grounded out, and a follow up double by Calle scored Carr for the Bees only run in the game. Duran was able to get Herrera and Cory Carlson to ground out to get out of the inning.

Fast forward to the fifth inning and the Spirits offense reignited with 6 more runs to give the game its final score of 14 to 1. Tipton drew a leadoff walk and after he stole second, Scott followed with an RBI single to score him. Duran singled to put runners at the corners and Brade followed with his third single to score Scott. McPherson walked before Hitzeman flew out and a triple by  Lee scored all three runners. Lee then scored on an RBI single by Sopocy before Goetz and German both flew out to close out the top half of the fifth.

German then struck out Calle to start the bottom frame before getting Herrera to ground out. Carlson followed with a two-out single but German was able to get Danwoyne Williams to ground out and secure the mercy-rule victory.

“Great job again by our offense, and hey, only one error on defense,” Lee continued. “Pitching was great and despite the shortcomings by their pitching, I thought our guys were patient at the plate. Swinging at bad pitches could have given the game a much different look, but based on the number of walks and pitches in the dirt, they never really gave themselves a chance. I’m sure it’ll be different the next time we face them. Mike (Scott) does a good job over there. They just had a rough night at the office.”

The Spirits will return to action next Wednesday night when they visit Los Viejos starting at 6:30PM on Arlington Field at Texas Star. Fans can click here for schedule details.

Game Box Score

Central Roofing and Restoration Players of the Game

Cliff Brade (3-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB)

Shawn Lee (2-4, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB)

Eric McPherson (2-3, 3B, BB, 2 R, RBI)