(September 14, 2022 – Euless, TX) Once again, the Killer Bees didn’t appear to be in a mood to back down as the team continued to put the bat on the baseball even in the path of hard throwing right hander, Craig Molldrem. Molldrem took the start for game two of the doubleheader and the Bees rallied quickly in the first for an early 1 to 0 lead.
Molldrem struck out Luis Jaime but Michael Scott was able to reach on a Spirits fielding error. Andy Postema followed with a single to move Scott to third and Steve Trocchio also singled to score Scott, and to give his team a 1 run lead before Molldrem went on to strike out both Kramer and Charles Carr to end the inning.
The Spirits offense bounced back with a pair of run in the bottom half of the first inning after Cliff Brade reached on a Bees fielding error. Brade promptly stole both second and third and later scored after Eric McPherson reached on an error. During the next at bat, the Spirits lost one of their best hitters after Kirk Sipila felt a sharp pain in his right arm while swinging. Sipila remained at the plate for a 3-2 count that unfortunately turned into a strikeout after Postema, the Bees starting pitcher was able to get one across the dish. Sipila had to leave the game and his current status is still pending.
The inning continued and McPherson, who had reached second on the earlier fielding error swiped third base during the strike three pitch to Sipila. The move proved solid as he was able to score when Molldrem grounded out to record he second out. Mike Sopocy followed with an ground out to end the inning, but the Spirits had a 2 to 1 advantage moving into the second inning.
The Bees quickly tied the game after Calle and Mike Milsap led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Both runners moved over on a passed ball, and Calle was able to score on an error by Spirits catcher, Shawn Hunt. Molldrem, who seems to call his own number after his team makes mistakes, then went on to strike out the next three Bees hitters in the form of Pinson, Royce Bedward, and Herrera.
The Spirits regained the lead in the third after Chris Lewis picked up one of his three singles on the night and moved to second after Hunt followed with his fourth hit on the night. David Tipton reached on a fielder’s choice after his bunt attempt rolled straight to Postema, who then fielded and was able to force Lewis out at third. Stacy Scott then reached on a fielder’s choice when the Bees attempted to turn two, forcing Tipton at second but allowing Hunt to score to give the Spirits a 3 to 2 lead before Jonathan Duran grounded out to end the inning.
Despite a single and a hit batsmen in the top half of the third, Molldrem picked up another pair of strikeouts to help get the Spirits out of the inning. In the bottom frame, the Spirits tacked on another 4 runs after Brade singled and stole second. Brade was able to move to third on an errant throw to second that went into the outfield. He was held at third after McPherson flew out to short left field but later scored after Earl German drew a walk and Molldrem singled through the left side. Sopocy reached on a fielder’s choice that squeezed Molldrem at second, but an RBI single by Lewis gave the Spirits another run after German scored. In a double-steal, Sopocy moved to third and Lewis took second and the move proved worthy after Hunt picked up another single to score Sopocy. Tipton followed with an RBI single to score Lewis and the Spirits held at 7 to 2 advantage before Scott flew out to end the inning.
From there, it was a repeat of the Bees last inning with Calle reaching on a one out single and Milsap reaching on a Spirits fielding error. Molldrem again took things into his own hands and struck out both Pinson and Herrera to get out of the inning.
This remained quiet for both teams offensively the next couple of innings, with Molldrem picking up another pair of punch ots in the top half of the fifth, this time in the form of Trocchio and Kramer.
The Spirits then added another pair of runs to closeout the game in the fifth after Molldrem picked up his second hit of the game with a single to left. Sopocy doubled to push Molldrem to third, and a follow up RBI single by Lewis scored Molldrem. Hunt was able to reach on a fielder’s choice that picked Lewis at second but scored Sopocy and the Spirits had a 9 to 2 lead before Tipton grounded out to end the inning.
Molldrem then struck out Carr to start off the sixth before getting Calle and Milsap to ground out and end the game due to the league’s two-hour game time limit.
“Awesome job in the second game,” Shawn Lee commented after the game. “Craig did his thing and seemed to pick up our defense if we missed a play or allowed guys to reach. I’m not sure why better pitchers have a difficult time with our umpires, but no offense to anyone’s skills of calling balls and strikes, he was squeezed on several pitches. When your guy is a former MLB talent and he is placing pitches with 3 inches of space on top of the dish, it’s not a ‘ball, outside.’ That was a little frustrating but it didn’t affect the outcome of the game. Offensively, several of the guys stepped up tonight including (Chris) Lewis, Cliff (Brade), Molldy (Craig Molldrem), and (Shawn) Hunt. Those guys helped carry us with myself, Kirk Sipila, and Travis Hitzeman out of the lineup. Absolutely love it when guys step up. Hunt had a hell of a night at the plate.”
As Lee noted, Sipila left during game one due to an arm injury while both Eric Goetz and Travis Hitzeman left due to feeling illness. The Spirits return to action next Wednesday night when they play host to the Brewers at Texas Star on Legends Field. First pitch is scheduled for 8:45PM and you can click here for schedule detail or to listen live through the iScore Central app.