(June 10, 2023 – Carrollton, TX) The Spirits (50+) squad was shorthanded and the team needed the final inning to complete a come-from-behind walkoff win over Metroflex this past Saturday in DFW-ABA 50 League action.
Pitcher, Mike Sopocy once again put the team on his back allowing just one earned run off of 9 hits, while walking none and striking out 3 on his way to another complete-game victory. Sopocy aided his own cause finishing 1-for-1 offensively, while scoring once and walking three separate times. Earl German also helped lead the Spirits on offense, finishing 3-for-4 on the day with 2 runs batted in. Vince Parello‘s double, inside-the-park home run, RBI, and 2 runs scored completed the box score heroics for the ghosts.
After taking an early 1 to 0 lead in the first following Parello’s 4-base hit, the game remained quiet offensively until Metroflex opened up for 4 runs in the top half of the third inning. George Ebertin singled and John Parker reached on a Spirits fielding error. A single by Jonnie Gunter loaded the bags, and another single by Rudy Theobald scored Ebertin to tie the game. Joseph Polsky grounded out but plated Parker on the play, and two pitches later, Gutner was able to score on a passed ball. Ken Earp grounded out but Theobald scored on the play, and despite another pair of singles by Rene Villalobos and Paul Bixles, the Spirits were able to get out of the inning after Kiki Olivas flew out.
The Spirits cut the lead to 4 to 2 in the bottom of the fourth after Kent Fischer walked. Brian Hackney flew out but Sopocy also drew a walk and the Spirits had two on with one out. German singled home Fischer, and another single by Anthony Osburn loaded the bases. Parker was then able to get Shawn Hunt to ground into an inning-ending double-play to get out of the jam.
With Metroflex up a pair of runs and time running out, the Spirits cut the lead to 4 to 3 in the sixth after Sopocy drew another base-on-balls with one out and advanced to second on an error Parker. A single by German moved Sopocy to third and he would later score on a passed ball before Hunt lost the battle on swings and Stacy Scott grounded out to end the inning.
Enter the cliche bottom of the seventh scenario where the Spirits needed heroics and fortunately, found them. Eric McPherson drew a leadoff walk and went on to steal second base. With McPherson now in scoring position as the tying run with nobody out, the Spirits appeared to be in the driver’s seat until he leaned toward third at the very same moment Parker decided to attempt a pickoff. The pickoff worked and McPherson was tagged out in a rundown. With one down and a bit of the wind removed from the Spirits sails, Parello kept the inning live by drawing a walk. Fisher followed with an RBI triple to tie the game and the Spirits dugout was back to life. Hackey and Sopocy were both intentionally walked to load the bags and to create a force out, but German came through with an RBI single to score Fischer and the Spirits were able to walk it off with a victory.
The Spirits will return to action during the midweek with a matchup scheduled against the Redbirds for a battle of first place. Game time is 8:45PM on Legends Field at Texas Star on Wednesday and fans can click here for schedule details or to download the iScore Central app to listen to the game live.