Solid Outing by Duran Shuts Down Chihuahuas

(March 20, 2024 – Euless, TX) Mr. Dependable continued to own his nickname this past Wednesday night as Spirits (40+) pitcher, Jonathan Duran we in full command as he helped the ghosts pick up another win in DFW ABA 40 League action. Duran went the distance, allowing just one earned run off 7 hits while picking up the complete-game victory as the Spirits earned a 5 to 2 win over the Fighting Chihuahuas.

Eric McPherson was once again atop the box score, leading the team with a pair of hits while also reaching after being hit by a pitch. He finished with a pair of stolen bases, 2 runs scored, and a run knocked in. Todd Murrah joined him with a pair of hits while Shawn Hunt added some additional help with a double and two runs batted in. Shawn Lee added a double, run scored and a walk to top off team stats on the night.

It was the Chihuahuas that drew first blood, picking up a pair of runs in the top half of the first after Juan Norat led the game off with a single. Chris Mays grounded out but Norat was able to move to second on the play and later scored after Brandon Mitchell reached on an error and Andres Andrade singled him home. Jacob Rankin reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed everyone to be safe, and Reese Vaughn also reached on a fielder’s choice, this time resulting in a put out ad the dish when Mitchell was squeezed at home.  A follow up single by Jeremy Madson scored Andrade before Duran was able to get Keith Ricci to ground out to end the frame.

Despite a one-out single by McPherson in the bottom half of the inning, followed by a double hit by Lee, the Spirits squandered any opportunity to score after Hunt flew out and McPherson was thrown out trying to tag.

The Chihuahuas went in order in the second inning and the Spirits broke the scoring ice with a run after Mike Sopocy singled and later took second base. A single by Murrah moved Sopocy to third, and a fielder’s choice that allowed Earl German to reach safely after Murrah was forced at second allowed Sopocy home on the play. David Tipton flew out and Stacy Scott grounded out to close out the second with the Chihuahuas up 2 to 1.

Duran again set the dogs in order in the third and the Spirits rallied for another pair of runs in the bottom half of the third inning after Duran reached on an error to start off the inning. Cliff Brade stuck out swinging and after Duran swiped second base, he later scored on an RBI single by McPherson. Lee flew out but Hunt kept the inning alive after reaching on an error. McPherson was able to score on the play before Sopocy grounded out with the ghosts up 3 to 2.

The game remained quiet for a pair of innings until the Spirits added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth inning after McPherson was hit by a pitch with one down. Lee followed with a walk after McPherson stole second base, and with two on and one out, Hunt doubled to score both runners. Sopocy drew a walk after the Chihuahuas turned to Tad Holbrook to pitch and Sopocy was then quickly replaced at first after Murrah reached on a fielder’s choice that forced Sopocy at second. German drew a walk and it appeared the Spirits might get additional insurance, but Holbrook was able to set down Tipton looking to end the inning.

The Chihuahuas showed signs of scoring hope in the sixth after Mercedes Mendoza and Juan Castro led the inning off with back-to-back singles, but Duran was able to get Bo Ranking to ground out and Juan Norat grounded into what appeared would be a double-play for the Spirits. With the ball hit to Sopocy at short, Sopocy relayed to Murrah at second but Castro failed to slide, coming into second standing up and literally closing his stop with a hug to Murrah. Murrah was unable to relay the ball to first to attempt the double-play but the field umpire saw the play and promptly called Castro out for interference. Despite a brief argument by the Chihuahua’s manager, the game continued and Duran and his defense were able to hold off any additional scoring to pick up the victory.

“Great effort tonight despite a quiet night on offense,” Lee mentioned afterwards. “We were missing a few big sticks tonight but we didn’t play poorly. Jon (Duran) was solid from the hill and we took advantage of a few opportunities with runners on base, including (Shawn) Hunt’s double. Nothing pretty but nothing to feel bad about. Good win by the team tonight.”

The team returns to action next Wednesday night when they play host to the Brewers on Legends Field. First pitch is slated for 8:45PM and fans can click here for schedule details.

Game Box Score

Central Roofing and Restoration Players of the Game

Eric McPherson (2-3, R, 2 RBI, 2 SB)

Todd Murrah (2-3)

Shawn Hunt (1-3, 2B, 2 RBI)