(March 11, 2023 – Carrollton, TX) It may have been early in the morning, but caffeine or something else triggered the Spirits (50+) offense to light up the scoreboard as the squad cruised to a mercy-rule 17 to 2 stomping of the Phillies on Saturday morning.
The Spirits had a lot of mouths to feed on offense, and the squad used early advice from their team skipper to use each at-bat well and to turn the order. The Spirits did just that. Vince Parello, Kirk Sipila, and Mike Sopocy each finished a perfect 3-for-3 in the game in just 4 innings. Todd Murrah and Dee Mauldin each finished 2-for-2, and Brian Hackney added a 1-for-1 performance that included a base-clearing double, 2 walks, and 4 runs batted in. Sipila finished with 3 runs batted in, and Parello added 2 RBIs and scored 3 times as well.
Parello started with a single in the bottom of the first and quickly stole seconde. He then scored on an RBI single by Sipila to give the Spirits a fast, 1 to 0 lead. Will Nash went down swinging but Kent Fischer and Sopocy went back-to-back on singles and a double to the gap by Hackney scored all 3 runners. Earl German and Anthony Osburn each flew out to end the inning.
After the Phillies added a run in the second, the Spirits went on to add 3 more runs on the bottom of the third after Mauldin doubled to lead off the inning. Jason Price grounded out but moved Mauldin to third, and Parello followed with an RBI single to score him. Parello swiped his second bag of the day and then later scored on another RBI single by Sipila. Will Nash then doubled to move Sipila to third, and a sacrifice fly by Fischer scored him. Sopocy singled to move Nash to third and then stole second before Hackney drew a walk. German grounded out with bags loaded to end the inning.
The Phillies added a second run in the fourth following a Spirits error, and the Spirits offense followed up by blowing the game wide open before the game was called due to the mercy rule in the fifth. Osburn singled to start things off and then scored after Stacy Scott hit a triple. Scott was able to score on a fielding error by the Phillies, and Steven Nutt then followed with a single. Nutt swiped second base and then moved to third after Murrah singled. Jack Nash followed with an RBI single to score Nutt, and a follow up single by Mauldin loaded the bases. Price picked up the easy RBI after drawing a walk, and Parello kept the merry-go-round moving with an RBI single to score Jack Nash. Mauldin scored in an RBI single by Sipila, and Will Nash followed suit by singling home Price. Fischer reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed Parello to score, and another single by Sopocy loaded the bases once again. Hackney drew a walk to push home Will Nash, and German then reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Fischer before Osburn grounded out to end the inning.
German replaced Sopocy at pitcher to close things out before the game was called due to the league’s run-rule policy.
“Great effort offensively,” Shawn Lee commented afterwards. “Told them we had a lot of guys to get through the order, and if they wanted to have fun, they all better hit. Well, they didn’t waste any time doing that. Great effort on both sides of the ball.”
The Spirits return to action next Saturday morning when they’ll visit the Red Sox on McInnish #10. Click here for schedule details.