Molldrem Tosses Perfect Game Against Los Viejos

(October 5, 2022 – Euless, TX) It’s hard to believe a highly talented pitcher such as Craig Molldrem has never thrown a perfect game. The hard-throwing right hander has played multiple levels of baseball, stemming from childhood to high school, college ball at the University of Minnesota, and then threw the ranks with the Florida Marlins. Serving as the ace for the Dallas Spirits (40+) fall squad, Molldrem finally crossed that threshold on Wednesday night, retiring every batter he faced, finishing with 12 strikeouts, no hits, no walks, picking up a perfect game win.

Pitcher, Craig Molldrem delivers on one of his 12 strikeouts en route to a perfect game Wednesday night. (Photo Credit, Kelly Pryor)

Molldrem received a little help from his defense to perform the feat. It’s hard to believe that the same team was on the field, following a first game tie that included 10 errors on the field. That same defense rebounded from a 7 to 7 tie in game one to assist with an 8 to 0 perfect game win for Molldrem in game two. The highlights included a diving catch by Cliff Brade in centerfield on the game’s very first hitter. Later in the game, Brade chased down a hard hit ball to the warning track, tracking the ball down after making about a 180 degree turn in a full run. The Spirits infield rebounded from an abysmal first game and played lights out to help aid in perfection for Molldrem.

“This was awesome,” team skipper, Shawn Lee mentioned afterwards. “Guys were coming up to me and dropping hints and asking questions while I was scoring the game and I played as stupid as I could. It’s like Fight Club, man. You do NOT talk about it. Craig was great. He’s pretty much lights out each week. He plays against the game and he’s a solid competitor. Those are my favorite two things about him. And for the guys? Honestly, I don’t know where it came from but I’m glad they found it. Our first game display was ridiculous. Embarrassing. I’m glad they put up with my whining about it. I’m sure I’d have been joining them had I been on the field, however they found the perfect time to play great. They didn’t just make routine plays. Each of them had really solid plays to help with this. I’m constantly barking to ‘make a play,’ and for this contest, they did just that. Extremely proud to have Molldrem as a teammate. Glad I could be there to watch this one.”

After Brade made his diving catch to record the first out to start the game, Molldrem went on to strike out both James Johann and Gary Jackson. The Spirits then rallied for a 1 to 0 lead in the bottom half of the inning after Aaron Wilson and Eric Goetz both singled with two outs. Molldrem followed with another single that scored Wilson, and Shawn Hunt walked to load the bags but Mike Sopocy flew out to strand the runners.

Molldrem picked up strikeout number two in the second inning after setting down Scott Bergset, Ray Mullikin, and Jason Chancellor in order, and the Spirits responded with a 1-2-3 inning of their own against Chancellor, the Los Viejos starter.

Chalk up strikeouts three and four in the third as Molldrem retired Kevin McKenna, Chris Duty, and Alex Wells. The Spirits then picked up a second run in the bottom of the inning after Brade drew a walk to lead things off. He swiped second base, and Eric McPherson drew a walk. Brade then took third, and McPherson followed suite by taking second on the next pitch. Brade then scored on a ground out by Wilson to give the ghosts their second run.

Molldrem added another pair of strikeouts in the fourth after setting down Scott Baxley, Ed Killey, and Todd Brooks in order, but the Viejos also held the Spirits scoreless in the bottom half of the inning, despite the Spirits again loading the bags after Earl German earned a one-out single. David Tipton went down on strikes to record the second out but German snagged second and Stacy Scott walked to keep the inning alive. Brade singled to load them up but McPherson popped out to kill the inning.

A strikeout to Dick, followed by a pair of ground outs by Johann and Jackson saw the Viejos again go 1-2-3 in the fifth and the Spirits offense finally came alive in the bottom frame. The Viejos went to Baxley to replace Chancellor and Wilson welcomed him to the game by drawing a walk for the Spirits. Three straight singles by Goetz, Molldrem, and Hunt gave the Spirits a 3 to 0 lead before Sopocy recorded the first out on an infield fly. German reached on an error that allowed Goetz to score, and a double by Tipton scored both Molldrem and Hunt. Scott drew a walk as well, and a sacrifice fly by Brade scored German before McPherson grounded out. The Spirits held a 7 to 0 advantage moving into the sixth.

Molldrem set down both Bergset and Mullikin via strikeout, and Chancellor grounded out to keep Molldrem’s perfect game intact. The Spirits then picked up their eighth and final run in the bottom half of the inning after Wilson led things off with a single. Goetz replaced him at first following a fielder’s choice and Molldrem repeated the effort by replacing Goetz and recording the second out of the inning. Hunt kept the inning alive after drawing a base-on-balls, and Molldrem eventually scored on an RBI single from Sopocy before German flew out to end the inning.

Molldrem then struck out both McKenna and Duty before Wells grounded out and the game ended.

“Can’t say enough about the effort,” Lee continued. “It was great by both Craig and the guys playing defense. Nobody got their shorts in a bundle over Craig throwing a no-hitter in progress, and that’s important. It’s too easy to get caught up and nobody did. Great job by everyone. Hunt did a great job behind the plate coming off an injury, and Wilson really carried us on offense both games. Great night for him and great to have him back. It’s tough to let go of 8 errors and a tie, but this is special, so we’ll forget about the tie and honor Craig’s accomplishment.”

The Spirits tied game one with the Viejos, 7 to 7 after giving away a couple of different leads. The team was error prone, collecting 10 errors in 7 innings and really hiding what was a solid outing by pitcher, Jonathan Duran, who recorded 4 strikeouts and only gave up one earned run.

Game 1 Box Score

Game 2 Box Score

Dallas Spirits Baseball Club Players of the Games

Craig Molldrem (7 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 12 K; 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, HBP, SB)

Aaron Wilson (4-5, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, SB)

Cliff Brade (3-5, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2 SB)