Spirits (40+) Clinch Fall Season Title with 15 to 2 Win Over Hurricanes

(October 12, 2023 – Carrollton, TX) What started as a close game in the first eventually developed into another solid win for the Spirits (40+) fall squad on Thursday night as the ghosts took a 2 to 2 first inning tie and flipped it to a 15 to 2 win to finish the NTABL Brazos Division fall league with a perfect 10-0 record.

Eric McPherson and Lester Bedford each finished with 3 hits, with McPherson adding a double, 3 runs scored, a stolen base, and an RBI and Bedford going 3-for-3 with a triple, 2 runs scored and a run batted in. Shawn Lee added a 2-for-3 performance, adding a run scored, 2 runs batted in, and a walk to help lead the Spirits. Cliff Brade finished 1-for-2 with an inside-the-park homerun while also adding a pair of walks, 4 runs scored, and 2 RBIs. Brade also swiped pair of bags. Jason Bottenfield finished 1-for-3, adding a run scored and 3 runs batted in.

On the hill, Jonathan Duran picked up the win, throwing for 3 innings while allowing 2 unearned runs off 2 hits, walked two, and struck out 4. Earl German picked up an inning of work, allowing no runs on no hits, walked one, and struck out two, while John Mahalik and Bottenfield each picked up innings before the night was over, with Bottenfield also adding a pair of strikeouts.

In the top half of the first, the Spirits started things after Brade drew a walk and stole second. He moved to third on an errant throw that allowed McPherson to reach base, and after McPherson was cut down stealing second, Brade scored when Bottenfield grounded out. Lee drew a walk to keep the inning alive and Mahalik followed by reaching on an error that allowed Lee to score after advancing previously on a passed ball. Kent Fischer flew out but the Spirits held an early 2 to 0 lead.

The Hurricanes rallied to tie the game in the bottom frame after Astolfo Parra and Terry Helm singled back-to-back. Vince Parello drew a walk and Jim Crombie flew out to the infield with the bags loaded to record the first out. Paul Ponce reached on a Spirits fielding error that allowed Parra to cross the dish, and after Eric Reifschneider grounded out, Helm scored to tie the game. Chad McCune walked but Michael Swann grounded out to end the inning.

The Spirits then added 4 runs in the third inning after Bedford reached on a bunt single and moved to second on a passed ball. Duran lost a battle of strikes for the first out but Brade hit an inside-the-park homerun to make it 4 to 2, Spirits. McPherson followed with a double and Bottenfield reached on an error, and a single by Lee loaded the bases. Mahalik then doubled to score both McPherson and Bottenfield before Lee was squeezed at home after Fischer reached on a fielder’s choice. Eric Goetz drew a walk but Brian Hackney lost a battle of strikes with bases loaded to kill the inning.

The Spirits made it 8 to 2 in the fifth after Brade reached on an error and then stole second. McPherson singled to move him to third and a sacrifice fly by Bottenfield scored him to make it 7 to 2. Lee went down on swings but Mahalik kept the inning alive after reaching on an error that allowed McPherson to score. Fischer walked but Goetz grounded out but the Spirits held an 8 to 2 lead moving to the bottom of the fifth inning.

The ghosts then broke things open by putting up 7 runs in the sixth after Hackney started by reaching on an error by the Hurricanes defense. German also reached on an error and both runners moved over on a failed pickoff attempt. David Tipton then doubled home both Hackney and German before Bedford tripled to score Tipton. Duran walked as did Brade and McPherson’s single scored Bedford. Bottenfield singled home Duran and Lee singled home both Brade and McPherson in what could have easily been a double. Mahalik then popped out to the infield before Fischer and Goetz went down swinging to end the frame.

Bottenfield then closed the final inning after getting Reifschneider to ground out before striking out McCune and Swann to end the game.

The win gives the Spirits the regular fall season title, finishing at a perfect 10-0 as the league moves to its single-elimination playoff for walnut and bronze. Stay tuned to the Spirits schedule by clicking here to see details or to listen live online.

Game Box Score

Central Roofing and Restoration Players of the Game

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

Lester Bedford (3-3, 3B, 2 R, RBI)

Cliff Brade (1-2, HR, 4 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB)