(August 31, 2020 – Plano, TX) The woes of offense continue to be an eyesore for the Dallas Spirits (35+) as unavailable bats and limited opportunities once again became the theme for mediocre baseball Monday night as the ghosts (4-6-1) played host to the Dallas Mustangs (2-8-1).
With the Mustangs at -46 runs in the point scoring differential column and the Spirits dead even at 0, it seemed like an opportunity to get back in the saddle of winning baseball. Just 4 days after losing to Modoc, the NTABL Veterans League leader by a score of 4 to 3, the Spirits seemed in position to muscle up against a team struggling defensively. That wasn’t the case at Graham Field this past Monday night.
The Mustangs out-hit the Spirits 14 to 7 and outplayed the Spirits defensively finishing the game without an error as compared to a pair of errors by the Spirits and went on to win the game by a score of 6 to 4.
The Spirits held a 3 to 1 advantage going into the fifth inning and the Mustangs opened the game up with 4 runs and never looked back. Solid pitching from Brian Underhill and an unknown player led to 8 Spirits strikeouts, totaling 24 Ks in the past two games.
Travis Hitzeman, a name that headlines just about each story led the Spirits with a pair of hits and an RBI. David Tipton was the only other player to finish with a pair of hits, adding a run scored as well. Both Eric McPherson and Cliff Brade finished the night with a hit, run scored and a walk and Kirk Sipila was the remaining Spirit to add a hit on the night. Each team left a staggering 11 runners on base in a lackluster battle that could have gone either direction.
“Gotta credit the Mustangs for hitting the ball tonight,” commented Shawn Lee after the game. “There are a number of us that aren’t really contributing to offense and I’m included on that conversation. They hit the ball and we really didn’t. Jonathan Duran was doing a good job pitching for us but our catcher indicated that he didn’t have a lot of movement on his stuff so I opted to go with Sip (Kirk Sipila) to close things out for the third time they were coming to the plate. Seems he was a perfect fit for their hitters as they teed off a bit. Most teams don’t handle some of the stuff Kirk throws there way so this unfortunately worked against us. Nothing against Kirk, they just figured us out and hit the ball. We didn’t.”
As it turns out, the Spirits were awarded a victory following the game due to an illegal player that pitched and played for the Mustangs. A win may move the team up a game in the standings but the loss is something that will stick with the team until they can get back to winning baseball. Their next chance won’t be easy as they face the second place Thunderbirds (9-3) Thursday on Graham Field at 6:30PM. Click here for schedule details or to listen to the game live online using the iScore Central app.