(June 12, 2017 – Dallas, TX) It was a battle of the NTABL Masters League top teams and after the dust settled at Reverchone Park in Uptown, the Dallas Orioles were the lone team atop the league standings as the birds handled the Spirits (45+) squad easily Monday night by a final of 10 to 2.
Orioles pitchers Scott Clawson and Sean House each delivered, shutting out each Spirits hitter on their way to six innings of no-hit baseball. Clawson allowed no hits, walking 4 and striking out 4 in 3 innings of work, while House followed suit, allowing no hits, no walks, while striking out 4 as well. It wasn’t until the seventh and final inning when the Orioles sent out Bill Downing that the Spirits were able to hit safely.
The only highlights for the Spirits came in the form of singles by both Earl German and Kirk Sipila. Patrick Bilgere was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Chris Lewis. Lewis singled to score German and the Spirits were finally on the board trailing 10 to 1. Brian Hackney flew out to the infield and Brant Finchum followed with a single to deep left field to score Sipila. Downing recovered and was able to strike out Jack Nash and to get John Holmquist to ground out to stop the Spirits late rally and to hand the club their second loss of the season.
Holmquist took the start and the loss for the Spirits while celebrating his birthday in undesirable fashion. Despite a two-to-one strike to ball ratio in 3 and 2/3 innings of pitching, the Orioles were able to muster 9 hits for 7 runs, while the Spirits defense seemed to have a little trouble with supporting their pitcher. The club was responsible for 6 errors in the field of play, which led to 5 unearned Orioles runs. Sipila finished the final 3 and 1/3 innings, giving up 3 runs, 1 earned, on 3 hits. Combined, Spirits pitching was only responsible for 5 earned runs out of the 10 scored by the birds.
The loss drops the team’s record to 7-2, still in a virtual tie with the 6-1 Orioles who however, hold a 2-1 series edge in head-to-head play. The Spirits will return to action next Monday night as they visit the Hurricanes at Graham Field, located at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, TX. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:30PM.