Huge Second Inning Lifts Spirits (40+) Past Mustangs

(March 6, 2024 – Euless, TX) A fast lead wasn’t enough for the Spirits (40+) offense on Wednesday night as the team catapulted from a 4-run first inning to add an 11-run second inning while cruising to a 16 to 5 mercy-rule victory over the Mustangs in DFW-ABA 40 League action.

Despite only putting up 8 hits as a team, Will Nash led the box score for the ghosts adding two hits, a run scored, and an RBI. Anthony Osburn smashed a double and added a walk, 2 runs scored, and two runs batted in, and Shawn Hunt rounded off the offensive leaders with a single, run scored, and 3 runs batted in.

The combination of starting pitcher Don Massoud, newcomer, Cody Grimes, and veteran ace, Jonathan Duran held the horses to just 5 hits and only 2 earned runs as the Spirits defense again struggled with managing the baseball, finishing the night with 4 errors on the diamond.

Eric McPherson started the game off by reaching on a Mustangs error and later moved to second on a wild pitch. Shawn Lee singled to score McPherson and the Spirits held a 1 to 0 lead after just two hitters took to the batter’s box. Massoud flew out and after Lee swiped second base, Nash picked up a single to move Lee to third. Nash stole second base and Mike Sopocy drew a walk to load the bags for Eric Goetz. Goetz followed with a single to score Lee, but Nash was tagged out on the relay home after trying to score from second. Both runners were able to advance on another wild pitch from Mustangs starter, Scott Baxley, and a 2-run single by Hunt made it 4 to 0, Spirits before David Tipton was set down looking to end the Spirits frame.

A lead off single by Kenneth Nelson eventually turned into a run for the Mustangs after Nelson later swiped second, moved to third on a ground out, and then scored on an RBI double by Ravi Mallick.

Up 4 to 1 and headed to the dish in the second, the Spirits offense opened up with the help of Mustangs pitching that ended up giving up 7 walks and a hit batsmen before the dust settled after an 11-run Spirits inning. Osburn, Stacy Scott, and Duran were each walked to load the bags to start off the inning. Grimes went down on swings and McPherson followed by reaching on a fielder’s choice that put out Duran at second, but allowed Osburn to score. Scott also scored on the play following an error by the Mustangs first baseman. McPherson stole second base and the Mustangs finally pulled the plug on Baxley and turned to Jonathan Jackson to pitch.

Lee welcomed Jackson by drawing a walk after McPherson moved to third on a wild pitch, and McPherson later scored on another wild pitch that allowed Lee to move to second. Massoud was then hit by a pitch before Nash reached on another Mustangs fielding error that allowed Lee to cross the dish. Both Sopocy and Goetz drew walks with Massoud crossing the plate between each base-on-balls due to another pitch in the dirt. Hunt was then hit by another errant pitch that allowed Nash to score. Tipton picked up another easy RBI after walking and allowing Sopocy to score, and Osburn knocked in another pair of runs after belting a double to left field to score both Goetz and Hunt. Scott followed with a single that scored both Tipton and Osburn before Duran grounded out to stop the bleeding.

“Man, it doesn’t get much worse than that,” Lee commented later. “Although it was beneficial to us, it was hard to watch that much bad pitching occur. It happens to all of us, so we get it, but you could tell by the players on their team that they were already defeated here in the second inning.”

Up 15 to 1 in the bottom half of the second inning, Baxley was able to reach on an error by the Spirits defense before Massoud struck out the side. The Spirits added another run in the third after Grimes led the inning off with a single. Being rusty after years of not playing, Grimes was later picked off at first whilst daydreaming about the good old days before McPherson reached on another walk delivered by Mustangs pitching. Lee flew out but the inning stayed alive after Massound reached on an error that allowed McPherson to reach third. Nash’s RBI single scored McPherson before Sopocy grounded out to end the frame.

The Mustangs picked up a pair of unearned runs in the third and added two more in the fourth before Duran closed out the game with a pair of strikeouts.

“Felt good to get a W after the way we played week one,” Lee continued. “16 runs on 8 hits, with 12 of those being legitimate runs batted in? Can’t complain. They undoubtedly handed that to us and I”m sure they’ll give us a much better game next time. Great effort by our pitchers tonight. They got it done. And shout out to my catcher, Shawn (Hunt). He always calls a great game and plays solid behind the dish. It doesn’t grab headlines but he’s as solid as they come.”

The Spirits return to 40 action next Wednesday night when they visit SheGone on Arlington Field at Texas Star. First pitch is slated for 8:45PM and fans can click here for schedule details.

Game Box Score

Central Roofing and Restoration Players of the Game

Will Nash (2-3, R, RBI)

Anthony Osburn (1-1, 2B, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI)

Shawn Hunt (1-2, R, 3 RBI)