Redbirds Make Easy Work of Spirits (40+) to End Season

(July 20, 2023 – Euless, TX) Chalk up the phrase, “same shhh, different year” for the end of the Spirits (40+) season. In a season that truly played out as a .500 season, the Spirits just didn’t have what it took to get over the hump when it came to the Redbirds once again in 2023. The Spirits watched their season come to a close after falling to the Redbirds by a score of 14 to 0 (July 18, 2023), and then 8 to 3 the following night.

The Redbirds offense proved to be too much, and as one can await the Sun rising to shine the next day, the Redbirds again showed up in the playoffs with elite pitching typically not seen during the regular season.

“The Redbirds are great. We love all those guys but we hate losing to them,” Shawn Lee commented after his team’s departure from the DFW ABA playoffs. “JD has a long roster of talent, including some of the best pitching in Dallas/Fort Worth. Until we can match that type of talent, I suspect the end result will continue each season. They’re a talented bunch of players, period. They’re hard to beat, and you have to play damn near perfect to beat them; but that’s something we rarely do.”

The Spirits scattered just 3 hits off of veteran pitcher, Troy Key in the first game. Mike Sopocy was hit by pitch and added a hit, while Eric McPherson, Brant Finchum, and Stacy Scott each added a single.

The Cardinals got after Spirits starter, Ryan Marsland, picking up 13 runs in the top half of the first inning to essentially put the game away just after it had started. Dustin Harrison and Kevin Fought led the attack, each finishing the game with a 3-for-3 performance, with Harrison scoring 3 times and adding an RBI, and Fought adding a run scored and 3 runs batted in. Brent Smerczynski added a triple, run scored and 3 runs batted in as well.

In game two, the Spirits were able to add a few scratches to the Redbirds, but former MiLB pitcher, Shawn Onley was too much as he earned the complete-game win allowing 3 earned off of 8 hits, while walking 3, and striking out 7 in the 8 to 3 win for the birds. The Redbirds took Spirits starter, Duane Aponte for 7 runs in the first three inning before Jonathan Duran held the team to just 2 hits the rest of the way.

Travis Hitzeman finished 2-for-2 with a double, walk, and a run scored. Will Nash added a pair of hits and a pair of runs batted in, while Shawn Lee, David Tipton, Cliff Brade, and Kirk Sipila were the only remaining hitters to reach safely on the night.

The pair of losses brings the DFW-ABA 40 League season to a close. The Spirits thank their family members, friends and fans for their support.

Playoff Game One Box Score

Playoff Game Two Box Score

Next Level Sports Apparel Players of the Games

Mike Sopocy (1-1, HBP – Game 1)

Travis Hitzeman (2-2, R, 2B, BB – Game 2)

Will Nash (2-3, 2 RBI – Game 2)