(April 1, 2023 – Carrollton, TX) The only fools outside the jokes being play countrywide for April first were the ones over 50 trying to play baseball at 9AM out at McInnish Park in Carrollton. Fortunately for those fools, they seemed to be healthy, awake, and ready to play baseball. The Spirits (50+) squad’s offense was in “full swing” on Saturday morning as they visited Metroflex in a DFW-ABA 50 League match-up.
The Spirits put up fruns in each of the first four innings of play, including a 5-spot in the second, an inning that has treated the team well all season as they went on to beat Metroflex by a score of 13 to 6.
Kent Fischer picked up his second homerun of the season, finishing 1-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored to help spark the Spirits offense. Chris Allen and Kirk Sipila each finished with a pair of hits, Allen adding 3 runs scored and an RBI, with Sipila adding a pair of doubles, pair of runs scored, and a pair of runs knocked in. Dee Mauldin and Brian Hackney each added a hit and a pair of RBIs as well, while Jason Price found the warning track that ended up into a fly ball-watching double (yes, he thought it was “gone”).
The Spirits picked up 3 runs in the top half of the first inning to start the game after Allen reached on an error and then moved to third. Sipla doubled him home and after Fischer grounded out, Will Nash drew a walk. Nash swiped second to get into scoring position and a single by Hackney scored both runners to give the Spirits an early 3 to 0 lead.
Metroflex rebounded for a run in the bottom half of the inning after Chad Green doubled and later scored on an error by Fischer. The Spirits then blew things open with a 5-run second inning, starting with Todd Murrah drawing a walk. Earl German flew out but Price knocked one to the warning track allowing Murrah to move to third. Mauldin followed with a single that scored both runners but was cut down trying to swipe second on the next pitch. Allen followed with a single and later scored on another RBI double by Sipila. Fischer then reached on an error that allowed Sipila to score, and after Hackney walked, Mike Sopocy flew out to end the inning with the Spirits up 8 to 1.
Ken Earp walked and then stole second in the bottom of the second for Metroflex, and he later scored following a wild pitch and an RBI single by John Parker. With the lead now 8 to 2, the Spirits offense returned to the plate and added runs for their third straight inning. Metroflex replaced starter, Kiki Olivas with Parker and Anthony Osburn welcomed him to the game with a leadoff single for the Spirits. Vince Parello was then hit by a pitch but Parker regained his composure to strike out Stacy Scott. Murrah grounded out to score Osburn and two pitches later, German singled home Parello to give the Spirits a 10 to 2 lead before German was caught stealing to end the inning.
Metroflex rallied for 3 runs in the bottom half of the third to tighten the game to 10 to 5, but the Spirits offense picked up where it left off in the third by adding 3 more runs in the fourth. Price went down on swings and with one out, Mauldin reached on an error. Mauldin moved to second on the error and later scored on a single by Allen. Allen was able to take second on the throw home, and after Sipila grounded out, Allen moved to third. Allen then scored on a wild pitch, and the refocus by Parker to get it back over the plate may have been a mistake as Fischer took the next pitch from him to the 365 corner of left-center field for a solo homerun to give the Spirits a 13 to 5 lead before Nash went down looking to end the inning.
Metroflex rallied for another run in the fifth to give the game its final score of 13 to 6 before the teams traded on last set of at bats and the game was called due to the two and a half hour time limitation.
“Great effort once gain with 13 hitters in the lineup,” Shawn Lee commented afterwards. “That’s a lot of guys to get through the order. And if your selfish, it’s hard to wait for your turn to come up. But they’ve been getting it done. That’s a nice problem to have. Solid effort. Sopocy picking off two guys after first base? I’ve never seen that before. That was priceless. Hell of a job by him today shutting down inattentive runners.”
The team returns to action following a break for the Easter holiday when they host the Aces at Lively Park. Fans can click here for schedule details or to download the iScore Central app to listen to the game live online.