(June 9, 2021 – Euless, TX) The Spirits (40+) avenged an earlier season loss to the Red Sox Wednesday night as the ghosts cruised to a 10 to 5 victory on Legends Field at Texas Star. Pitchers Jonathan Duran and Earl German combined only to allow 3 earned runs while striking out 5 Sox hitters. The Spirits offense played solid, despite 5 errors on defense that kept it a ball game.
The Spirits finished with 12 hits and left 5 on base in the victory. Travis Hitzeman topped the box score after finishing 2-for-3 with a grand slam home run, a double, 2 runs scored, and 6 RBIs. Shawn Lee finished 3-for-3 on the evening including a double, run scored, and a pair of RBIs. Duran finished 2-for-2 and scored a pair of runs as well to help aid in the win he picked up on the mound.
After setting the Sox in order in the first, the Spirits picked up 3 quick runs after Eric McPherson led things off by reaching on a fielding error. Hitzeman flew out and Lee doubled to score McPherson. Lee was able to advance a base on a wild pitch and Aaron Wilson followed with an RBI single to score him and make it, 2 to 0. Eric Goetz flew out but Shawn Hunt wore a pitch after Wilson swiped second and the ghosts had two on with two out. An RBI single by David Tipton scored Wilson and the Spirits held a 3 to 0 advantage before Stacy Scott grounded out to end the inning.
The Red Sox rallied for a pair of runs in the second to cut the lead to 3 to 2 after Carl Wilson reached on a one-out single. Steven Nutt flew out and it appeared the Spirits defense was coasting, but back to back singles by Chris Duty and Adam Spencer led to 2 runs and a one run lead for the Spirits.
The Spirits rallied in the bottom half of the inning after Duane Aponte singled and German drew a base-on-balls. Duran followed with a single but Aponte was cut down trying to score as the Red Sox relayed the throw home and were able to tag Aponte out. McPherson then followed with a single to load the bases and that set the table for Hitzeman’s grand slam to left field. Lee followed with a single after the dust settled from Hitzeman’s rocket shot and the Red Sox turned to Brett Baker to slow the bleeding defensively. The left-handed pitcher was able to get Wilson and Goetz to ground out, but the Spirits had a 7 to 2 lead heading into the bottom half of the inning.
Despite the Spirits best effort to let the Red Sox back in the game defensively, Duran and company were able to get out of the inning after two runners reached base due to Spirits fielding errors. Hunt assisted by gunning down Baker after he reached and tried to swipe second. Duran was then able to strike out Doug Poe, but after Oscar Ronquillo kept the inning alive by reaching on the second error of the inning, Duran was able to get Kevin McKenna to ground out to end the inning.
The Sox rallied for 3 runs in the fourth inning ot cut the score down to 7 to 5, but the Spirits battled for another 3 runs in the fifth to take the game out of reach. Aponte reached on an error and German grounded into a double-play. With two outs, the Spirits offense remained poised and Duran reached for his second hit on the night. McPherson drew a walk and a double by Hitzeman scored both runners. Lee followed with an RBI single to score Hitzeman before Wilson went down on strikes to end the inning.
German went on to replace Duran in the top of the fifth and kept Sox hitters off balance. The score remained in check until the top half of the sixth where the Sox attempted a rally. Daniel Washington and Wilson both singled to start the inning and after Nutt flew out, Duty wore a pitch by German to load the bases. German was then able to get Spencer to fly out and then went on to strike out Mike Huber to end the game. The game was called due to the league’s 2-hour time limit.
The Spirits return to action next Wednesday night when they play host to the Brewers at McInnish Park, Field #11. First pitch is scheduled for 8:00PM and you can click here for schedule details.