(October 9, 2016 – Dallas, TX) The Dallas Spirits Fall squad clinched the regular season title for the NTABL Fall Ball Brazos Division this past Sunday with an 8 to 0 shutout of the Cubs taking their record to a perfect, 8-0. Pitcher Craig Molldrem struck out 13 Cubs hitters and gave up only 3 hits as he pitched a compete game in the victory. Molldrem wasn’t only busy on the mound. He connected on 3 of his 4 at bats and scored 3 times alongside an RBI to account for half of the Spirits offense.
“Craig was ridiculous for us once again,” commented manager Shawn Lee. “I think we take his arm for granted a little bit, and today we were down a few hitters that we’re used to seeing in the lineup and Craig started us off with that first run and we seemed to show up after that. (Jonathan) Duran crushed the ball once again, as did (Brant) Finchum, (Matthew) Topps and (John) Show. Great game by each of those guys today!”
Lee was clearly referring to Jonathan Duran’s triple in the bottom of the third that saw a screaming line drive go to the right-center field wall. After Molldrem struck out the side to begin the first, the Spirits went down in order as well. The Cubs rallied to load the bases after a single, followed by a hit batsmen and another single with two outs. Molldrem was able to complete the hat trick for outs by striking out Michael Carrigan to end the Cubs rally. Molldrem then led off the bottom of the third with a single and advanced to second when Finchum singled to follow. Dennis Gonzalez reached on a fielder’s choice squeezing out Finchum and Molldrem scored on a throwing error by Stacey Scott. Matt Topps then singled sending Gonzalez to third and Gonzalez then scored with a head-first slide after a wild pitch. Jack Nash grounded out pushing Topps to third and he then scored on an RBI single by Show.
The Spirits added 3 more runs in the bottom of the fourth after Duran tripled and later scored on a single my Molldrem. Finchum doubled in Molldrem and then scored on a single by Gonzalez. The Spirits offense finished with 15 hits, including three doubles; one from Duran and Finchum, as well as a ground-rule double from Lee that fell just short of a home run.