Shorthanded Spirits (50+) Blank Cubs with 10-Run Win

(April 27, 2024 – Carrollton, TX) Short a handful of regular players, the Spirits (50+) went to work with 9 players on Saturday mourning. Although a normal number for MLB baseball, the team typically has 13 to 15 players show up and also bat most Saturdays. With opportunity available, the players that did show wasted little time trying to get through the order to pick up precious at-bats. The team was fast and efficient, earning 10 runs on 10 hits to pick up a shortened game mercy-rule victory over the Cubs by a score of 10 to 0.

Jonathan Duran picked up managerial duties in Shawn Lee‘s absence and it appears his lineup and strategy were plenty enough to earn a victory. Mike Sopocy picked up another shortened complete-game victory as pitcher, throwing for 5 innings and allowing 0 earned off of just 3 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4.

Eric McPherson and Sopocy each picked up a pair of hits on the day, with McPherson adding a stolen base and 2 runs scored while Sopocy added 2 runs scored, 2 runs batted in, and a walk. Kirk Sipila added a double, 2 walks, 3 runs scored, and 2 runs batted in, while Shawn Hunt and Todd Murrah each added doubles on the day as well.

After setting the Cubs down in order in the first, the Spirits picked up a quick run to earn a 1 to 0 lead after McPherson led off by reaching on a Cubs fielding error. McPherson was actually picked off at first base leaning but Sipila replaced him by drawing a walk. Cubs starting pitcher, Dennis DeCapua ran into some issues and had to be replaced by Tony Chavez and Sopocy welcomed him to the game by drawing a walk. Kent Fischer also drew a walk to load the bases and after Chavez hit Hunt with a pitch, the Spirits were up 1 to 0 before Brian Hackney grounded into a double-play to bring the inning to a halt.

The ghosts made it 2 to 0 in the bottom of the second after Murrah led off with a double. Stacy Scott walked and a wild pitch allowed Murrah to take third. Scott eventually stole second base and a walk to John Holmquist loaded the bases for McPherson. McPherson went down looking but a walk to Sipila give the Spirits their second run before Sopocy left another 3 stranded by grounding into an inning-ending double-play.

Sopocy then set the Cubs in order to start the third inning and despite loading the bags a third time in the game, the Cubs were able to once again get out of it after Chavez was able to get Holmquist to ground out.

Sopocy scattered a single and a walk between striking out the side in the fourth and the Spirits offense followed by adding a 3-run bottom half sparked by a leadoff single by McPherson. McPherson swiped second base and then scored on an RBI double from Sipila, and Sipila later scored on an RBI single by Sopocy. Fischer and Hunt both grounded out but a single by Hackney scored Sopocy to make it 5 to 0 before Murrah grounded out to close the fourth.

A 5-run fifth gave the Spirits a mercy-rule walk-off victory after Holmquist reached on a one-out error and advanced to third on a single by McPherson. McPherson took second base and Sipila reached on a fielder’s choice that put out Holmquist at the plate. Sopocy then followed with an RBI single that allowed McPherson to score, and a follow up RBI single by Fischer scored Sipila. Hunt drew a walk to once again load bases for the Spirits, and Hackney followed by reaching on a Cubs fielding error that allowed Sopocy to score. Murrah also reached on an error that allowed both Fischer and Hunt to score and the game was called due to the league’s 10 run mercy rule.

The Spirits return to action next Saturday when they host Sultanes Rockers at 11:45PM on Field #10 at McInnish Park in Carrollton. Fans can click here for schedule details.

Game Box Score

Central Roofing and Restoration Players of the Game

Eric McPherson (2-4, 2 R, SB)

Kirk Sipila (1-2, 2B, 2 BB, 3 R, 2 RBI)

Mike Sopocy (2-3, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI; 5 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K)