Offense Rolls as Spirits (40+) Fall Squad Moves to 3-0

(September 14, 2023 – Coppell, TX) The Spirits (40+) Fall team was back in action Thursday night and their offense continued to be in “full swing” as the team rolled the Rough Riders for 15 runs off 14 hits in NTABL Brazos Fall Ball action.

Nearly every member of the Spirits had a multiple hit night, with Don Massoud, Kent Fischer, Mike Sopocy, Eric Goetz, and Brant Finchum all finishing with two hits on the game. Shawn Lee finished with 3 hits, scored 3 times, knocked in a pair of runs, and he and Finchum both added doubles on the night. Finchum also knocked in 4 runs and Sopocy finished the night with 3 runs scored and 3 runs batted in.

Massoud picked up the victory, tossing 3 innings and allowing just one hit while walking 2, and striking out 6. Jonathan Duran closed the game’s final two innings, allowing just one hit and walking none while striking out 3 Rough Riders hitters. The Spirits cruised to a 15 to 0 win as the game was shortened due to the league’s 2-hour time limit.

The ghosts picked up a quick 4 runs in the first inning after Eric McPherson reached on an error. Massound lost a battle of strikes and Lee was gifted a single when the Rough Riders left fielder gave chase to a short fly ball and was unable to put a glove on it. Will Nash remained red hot at the dish, following up with a single to load the bags. Fischer then singled and Nash was picked at second base thinking the ball would be caught. McPherson scored on the play and Lee was able to move to third, and after Fischer swiped second base, Sopocy singled and Lee was able to cross the dish. Goetz then reached on an error that allowed Fischer to score, and Finchum was able to reach on a dropped third strike that allowed Sopocy to score when the ball rolled to the backstop. Duran grounded out to end the Spirits half of the inning but the team held a 4 to 0 advantage.

Massoud struck out Blake Davis to start the Rough Riders half of the inning, and Bryon Davis then received a free pass after wearing an 0-2 pitch from Massoud. Massoud then struck out Perry Allison, but Ross Nussle was able to stick out his bat and landed a short fly ball down the first base line allowing him to reach on a double and to move Blake Davis to third. Massoud then struck out Abhi Mahajan to get out of the inning.

In the second, the Spirits put up 6 more runs after John Holmquist led off with a walk. McPherson flew out but Massoud made it two on with one out after reaching on a single. The runners moved on a passed ball and Lee was able to score Holmquist after beating out an infield single. Massoud moved to third on the play and Lee was able to move to second on an errant throw to leave two more Spirits in scoring position. Nash then reached on an error that allowed Massound to score. Fischer lost a battle of strikes, and Nash went on to steal second base. Sopocy then reached on an error that allowed Lee to score. With runners on the corners, Goetz singled and scored Nash, and a follow up double by Finchum scored both Sopocy and Goetz to make it 10 to 0, Spirits before Duran went down looking to record the third out.

Massoud set the Rough Riders in order in the third inning and the Spirits offense followed through with another 5 runs to make it 15 to 0, Spirits. The Rough Riders turned to Mahajan to pitch and after Holmquist grounded out to start the inning, McPherson reached on a Rough Riders fielding error. McPherson was able to move to second on the play and then later moved to third after Massoud grounded out. Lee then doubled to the gap to score McPherson, and Nash reached on an error to make it two on with one out. Fischer singled to load the bags, and another single by Sopocy scored Lee. Goetz followed with a single to score Nash and another single by Finchum scored Fischer. Duran drew a walk for an easy RBI to score Sopocy before Holmquist grounded out for the second time in the inning to close off the scoring.

Keith Riley reached on a Spirits error in the bottom half of the third and then for some reason, took off for second before Massoud delivered his next pitch. Massoud promptly stepped off the rubber and put out Riley at second base to record the first out of the inning. Massoud then lost control a bit for the next two hitters, walking both Edward Dunkle and Patrick Riley before striking out Joel Sandana and Hershall Reynolds to close out the third.

The Rough Riders finally stopped the Spirits scoring rampage in the fourth and Duran set down three of four after Bryon Davis reached on an error to close out the fourth. The Spirits then went in order in the fifth inning, and Duran closed out the game by striking out 3 out of 5 in the final frame after Matthew Peyregne reached on catcher’s interference and Grant Smith singled.

“Another great effort by our hitters,” Lee commented afterwards. “Things are clicking for a few of the guys and we’re hoping it stays that way both throughout the Fall season and for those of us who will be traveling to Phoenix for the MSBL World Series at the 50 level. Awesome job by our hitters and both pitchers tonight. A combined scoreless 2-hitter, and a great job by ‘Snoop’ (Mike Sopocy) behind the dish.”

The Spirits return to action next Thursday night when they face this same Rough Riders squad. Fans can click here for schedule details or instructions on how to listen live.

Game Box Score

Central Roofing and Restoration Players of the Game

Mike Sopocy (2-3, 3 R, 3 RBI)

Brant Finchum (2-4, 2B, 4 RBI)

Don Massoud (2-4, R; 3 IP, 0 R, H, 2 BB, 6 K)