(October 8, 2017 – Plano, TX) It was an exciting day if you’re a fan of pitching, and the Nationals at Spirits game that took place at Graham Field on Sunday surely didn’t disappoint. Combined pitching from both teams saw 30 players exit their at-bat with a strikeout, including 15 delivered by Spirits (Trinity) ace, Craig Molldrem. Molldrem went the distance and actually lost the contest as his team’s offense only combined for 2 hits, while the Nationals on the other hand, found a way to get 4 hits off of the hard-throwing right-hander.
“This is a tough one to lose,” commented team manager, John Showalter following his team’s loss. “Credit both teams for great pitching, but to see Craig go out there and deliver a game like this and for us to find no offense is really disappointing. How many guys walk away with 15 strikeouts and lose? We were missing a handful of our big pats today, however we have to do better. We have to play better. The Nationals are a talented club and we’ll need to be better prepared next time if we want to walk away with a victory.”
Like a poorly written school essay, the play-by-play of the game would offer you a great deal of red text by review, with limited highlights listed in green text to display offense as both teams were able to combine for 6 total hits, while 2 Nationals players reached on walks from Molldrem as well. Patrick Bilgere picked up the game’s first single in the bottom of the third, but the one-out hit was short-lived after he was picked off at first. Jared Inman and Jordan Hebert picked up back-to-back singles in the fourth, however the Spirits defense and Molldrem remained composed and held the runners in check to get out of the inning.
The game’s only scoring took place in the seventh inning as Hebert led off the inning with chopper that got past the mound and was fielded by Showalter, playing at third. Showalter was forced to make a quick play and grounded the ball on the throw to first, which allowed Hebert to then reach second. Hebert stole third to get into better scoring position and Molldrem rebounded to strike out J Soto, however the third strike was missed and Soto was able to reach base and Hebert scored the game’s only unearned run on the wild pitch, which turned out to be the game’s final score. Thomas Stoltz was the only other Spirits hitter to hit safely as Nationals pitchers, Cory Rupert and Tim Hanan combined for 15 strikeouts while allowing just 2 hits.
The loss drops the Spirits (Trinity) record to 4-2 in NTABL Fall Baseball. The team returns to action on Tuesday night, when they host the Texas Smokies at Graham Field. First pitch is slated for 8:45PM. Click here for schedule details or to watch the game live, online.