(March 23, 2022 – Euless, TX) For all intents and purposes, it was over before it started. The Spirits (40+) squad ran into a buzz saw Wednesday night in the form of Redbirds hitting. The team was fortunate to make the game look closer, and had the Redbirds not hit the cover off of ever baseball used in the contest for the first two innings, perhaps it could have been a game. All said and done, the Redbirds routed the Spirits by a score of 17 to 6.
Following a hit-batsmen, a walk, a double and 4 straight singles in the first, the Redbirds earned a 5-run advantage after the first inning was complete. The birds were all over the pitches delivered by first time Spirits starter, Don Massoud, and some of it may have been on his pitches, while obviously all credit being due to one of the best hitting teams in Dallas-Fort Worth. Massoud had zero help at the plate. The calls blurting out from the plate umpire’s mask were not only confusing to both teams, but insanely inconsistent, often requiring Massound to throw directly down the middle to try to earn a strike. The end result was 15 hits in two innings of play that literally sucked the life from the Spirits players.
Despite a two-out single by Will Nash and a double by Bobby Kornhauser in the second, the Spirits were unable to get on the board or to enjoy the wind blowing out hard and fast to center field. After the Rebirds returned to offense, it was more of the same and worse. This time the club put up 12 more runs after Joe Lowry picked up his second free pass to first in as many innings. Three straight singles later, it was 7 to 0, Redbirds and team co-manager, Kirk Sipila chose to ease some of that pain on Massoud and turned to veteran pitcher and craftsman, Jonathan Duran. The change in pitching didn’t help as Jerry Gamez greeted Duran with an RBI single and the Redbirds continued with their offense assault.
Four hits later including a double, followed by a walk, hit-by-pitch, a triple, sacrifice fly with an RBI, the Redbirds were up 17 to 0.
“Honestly, I was ready to leave at that point,” Shawn Lee commented following the game. “Not that we were giving up. We simply had zero answers. They’re a hell of a ball club, but to show up and just abuse every pitch they saw? It was hard to watch.”
Fortunately for Lee and his squad, the team found a bit of offense to make the game less abusive. Stacy Scott singled in the third and eventually scored on an RBI single by Eric McPherson to put the team on the board. The team then rallied for 5 more runs in the fourth inning after Lee and Eric Goetz drew walks. Massoud reached on a fielder’s choice to squeeze Goetz at second, but the team rallied for 3 straight hits. Nash scored Lee with an RBI single and Kornhauser picked up his second double on the evening to score Massoud. Nash scored on an single by Shawn Hunt and both runners later scored on an error by the Redbirds second baseman.
“Not sure what to learn from this one,” continued Lee. “What can you do when the strike zone is the size of a pea? You have to throw down the middle. But I believe it was hard for both teams, so not blaming that as the issue. They hit. They hit everything. We did not. Hopefully those bats are a little less explosive next time we see them.”
The Spirits will return to action next Wednesday night as they face off against the Rattlers. First pitch is slated for 6:30PM at McInnish Park, Field #10 in Carrollton. Click here for schedule details, and be sure to download the iScore Central app to listen in.