(April 26, 2018 – Dallas, TX) It’s something the team hasn’t seen in a long time and the analogy may seem silly, but the Spirits (35+) offense may find itself on the side of a milk carton displaying as “missing” as the team failed to support pitcher, Jonathan Duran’s solid performance Thursday night. The Spirits fell to rival, Modoc by a score of 1 to 0 at Reverchon Park in Uptown, Dallas in a game that took less than 90 minutes to complete.
“Not much to say about this one,” commented team skipper, Shawn Lee following his team’s loss. “It was a great game for each team’s pitcher, but our offense simply didn’t show up. If you can’t get motivated to play Modoc, well, then there’s not a lot to talk about.”
The spotlight for the Spirits would belong to Duran during the short evening. Duran saw his first start in over a season after having lived in the shadow of ace pitcher, and fire-baller, Craig Molldrem. Duran’s patience appeared to be worthwhile as he delivered five innings of shut-down pitching, allowing 7 scattered hits and an unearned run, while walking one, and striking out 5.
“(Jonathan) Duran did a great job tonight,” continued Lee. “Hat’s off to him. He’s always told me he’s ready and times for him to pitch became far and few between this past year, but he can relied upon to step up and do anything you ask of him. He’s patient, he’s supportive, and he delivers when called upon. It’s a shame we couldn’t get him any runs tonight. He didn’t deserve a loss. That’s on our offense tonight.”
The Spirits were only able to muster 2 hits on the night. Cliff Brade and David Tipton were the only two players to reach base for the Spirits, and the only noise the offense made came in the bottom half of the second after Tipton beat out a one out infield single. Lee was up next and drew a 1-1 count before Modoc pitcher, Bill Kelly noticed a substantial lead off of first by Tipton. Kelly, a left-handed pitcher was facing Tipton at first and made a throw to the base and caught Tipton leaning toward second and picked off the Spirits base runner easily. Kelly was then able to return to the wind-up position and was able to get Lee to ground out to kill the inning.
Duran’s gem ran into some trouble in the top half of the sixth after Mike Cave hit a double to start the inning for Modoc. Jay Langston followed with a single to push Cave to third and the Spirits chose to go to former Red Sox product, Jason Bottenfield to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately for the Spirits, Bottenfield’s first pitch to Jerry Anderson went into the dirt and Cave was able to score from third on the wild pitch giving Modoc the game’s only run scored. Anderson subsequently drew a base on balls, but Bottenfield recovered and was able to get Chris Cec to fly out before getting Matt Garrabrants to ground into a 5-4-3 double-play.
Cave picked up the save for Modoc by striking out Lee in the bottom half of the inning, and then getting Patrick Bilgere to line out and Chris Lewis to ground out on a controversial call at first base that Lewis appeared to have beaten out easily. The Spirits went in order again in the seventh and the ghosts were dealt their first loss in a while.
“The sweet isn’t so sweet without a little of the sour,” commented Lee after the game. “Modoc is a great team, and we were fortunate to take the title from them last season. They’re a formidable opponent and we have to show up when we play them. Losing isn’t fun, but it does have a way to bring back your focus. Let’s hope we see that the next time we step into the batter’s box.”
The Spirits (35+) squad returns to action next Thursday night and they’ll have their hands full as they visit a fast-out-of-the-gate, 4-0 Thunderbirds team at McInnish Park #10 in Carrollton. First pitch is slated for 6:45PM. Click here for schedule details, directions, or to download the iScore Central app to view and listen to the game live!