Offense Shows Up in Droves as Spirits (42+) Cruise Past Knights

(March 20, 2023 – Coppell, TX) After a solid offensive performance just a week prior, the Spirits (42+) squad wasted no time getting back into the driver’s seat, putting up a 9-spot in the first inning and going on to cruise to an easy, 15 to 4 win against the Knights on Monday night in NTABL Masters League action.

The Spirits finished with 13 hits on the night, also drawing 5 base-on-balls, and obtaining some assistance from the Knights defense, who left the game with 4 errors in the box score. Travis Hitzeman and Ryan Marsland provided most of the offense, each adding a pair of hits, with Hitzeman also crushing a 3-run homerun. Travis finished with 4 runs batted in and a pair of runs scored, while Marsland added 3 runs batted in alongside 2 runs scored, and a stolen base. Eric McPherson and Will Nash each added a pair of hits on the evening, with McPherson scoring 3 times and Nash adding a run scored and a run batted in.

A combination of starting pitcher, Don Massoud along with 2 innings of work from Marsland proved to be shutdown material, as the duo combined to allow just 6 hits, with Massoud picking up the victory in the shortened game due to the league’s 2-hour time limit. Massoud struck out 3 and walked none while Marsland added 4 strikeouts and a walk.

After hitting the leadoff hitter, Massound went on to strike out the side in the top half of the first. The Spirits then wasted zero time putting up 9 runs in the bottom frame. Chris Allen drew a walk and moved to third on a double by McPherson. Hitzeman followed with an RBI single to score Allen and was then forced out when Marsland reached on a fielder’s choice that squeezed Travis at second but allowed McPherson to score. Marsland swiped second and Massoud walked before Nash singled home Marsland to give the Spirits a 3 to 0 lead.

Massoud stole third and then scored on a single by Shawn Hunt, and Nash later scored on a single by Sean House. Both runners advanced following a wild pitch, and a single by Mike Sopocy made it 6 to 0 after Hunt crossed the plate. Brian Hackney reached on an error, and David Tipton added another run after reaching safely on a fielder’s choice that put out Hackney at second base while House crossed the dish at home. Tipton swiped second base, and both Sopocy and he scored following an error by the Knights shortstop. Lester Bedford flew out to end the inning, but when the dust settled as the teams swaps sides of the diamond, the Spirits held a 9 to 0 advantage.

The Knights added a run after Dewey Leggett singled with two outs and later scored on a triple by Javier Rodriguez. The Spirits then went on to add an additional 4 runs in the bottom of the second after Brant Finchum reached on an error and McPherson walked after Allen lined out. Hitzeman followed with a 3-run homer to left, and a follow up single by Marsland and a double by Massound to score him, gave the Spirits a 13 to 1 lead.

The Knights rallied for 3 runs in the fourth when Rodriguez picked up his second triple on the night to knock in a pair of runs. He later scored on a single by Harlen McCaskey. The Spirits then tacked on 2 more runs before the game was called due to the league’s 2-hour time limit. McPherson doubled and Hitzeman reached on an error. Both runners moved on a wild pitch and then scored after Marsland singled to give the game its final score.

“Another great effort by the guys tonight,” Shawn Lee noted after the game. “That lineup is tough top to bottom, and I’m glad they’re performing as good as they look on paper. If we can hit consistently, we can beat anyone. More importantly, no errors on the field. That’s the stat I keep up with the most; us trying not to beat ourselves. Massoud and Marsland were a great combo on the hill tonight. Hopefully we can put together a winning recipe here.”

The Spirits return to action next Monday night when they host the Hurricanes starting at 8:45PM. You can click here for schedule details, or to download the iScore Central app to watch and listen live online.

Game Box Score

Five Star Ford Players of the Game

Travis Hitzeman (2-3, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI)

Ryan Marsland (2-3, 2 R, 3 RBI)

Eric McPherson (2-2, 2B, 3 R, BB)