Front Half of the Lineup Again Carries Spirits (40+) to Victory

(May 17, 2023 – Euless, TX) The Spirits (40+) squad used a 3-run first inning and 3-run third to eventually pull away from the Brewers by a final of 8 to 4 on Legends Field at Texas Star on Wednesday night.

It was a tale of two halves of the batting order, with the top 5 hitters finishing 11-for-18, with 8 runs batted in and 8 runs scored. The latter half of the order finished 1-for-17, with Stacy Scott picking up the lone hit out of the bunch. Eric McPherson, Kirk Sipila, Travis Hitzeman, and Mike Sopocy each finished the night with 2 hits. Sipila, Hitzeman, Nash, and Sopocy each also finished with a pair of runs batted in. Sipila, Hitzeman, and Nash each added a double on the night, with Sipila adding a hit by pitch to his box score alongside a pair of runs scored.

McPherson led off the game with a single and stole second. Eric Goetz lost the battle to strikes and after McPherson swiped third, Sipila joined him on base after wearing a pitch from Brewers starter, Bruce Raspberry. Hitzman nearly busted the left field wall with a line shot that just missed being a homerun and good for a double that allowed McPherson to score one of his three runs on the night. Nash followed with a double to score both Sipila and Hitzeman. Sopocy singled but both runners were stranded after Duane Aponte and Earl German both grounded out.

Spirits starter, Jonathan Duran set the Brewers in order and things remained quiet until the ghosts added another 3 runs in the third starting with another McPherson single. Goetz flew out but Sipila singled to move McPherson to third after he had swiped second base. Hitzeman singled home McPherson and Nash reached fielder’s choice that squeezed Hitzeman at second. Nash went on to steal second and a single by Sopocy scored both runners before Aponte went down on swings to end the Spirits half of the inning.

The Brewers added 2 runs in the bottom half of the fourth to cut the lead to 6 to 2 but the Spirits rallied for another pair of runs in the top half of the fifth after McPherson reached on an error and moved to second on a single by Goetz. Both runners advanced on a double steal, and a double by Sipila scored both runners to make it 8 to 2, Spirits before the Brewers eventually got out of the inning.

The Brewers then added a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth after Ken Earp walked and moved to second on a single by Dale Baird. David Osborne followed with an RBI single to score Earp and a ground out by Joe Brotherton later allowed Baird to score before Duran and his defense were able to shut it down. German came in to close out the seventh and the Spirits left with an 8 to 4 victory.

The team returns to action next Wednesday night when they visit the Killer B’s at McInnish Park, Field #11. Fans can click here for schedule details.

Game Box Score

Next Level Sports Apparel Players of the Game

Kirk Sipila (2-2, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, HBP)

Travis Hitzeman (2-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI)

Will Nash (1-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI, SB)