Spirits (40+) Fall Puts Up Another 15 Runs in Win

(September 24, 2023 – Coppell, TX) The latter part of 2023 has been awfully good to the Spirits (40+) offense. It’s been a rare occasion that the team doesn’t put up a minimum of 10 or more runs and Sunday afternoon was no different as the ghosts again cruised to an easy win over the Rough Riders in NTABL Brazos Division Fall Ball action.

Kent Fischer finished with 3 hits including a double, run scored, and 2 runs knocked in as Mike Sopocy shut down the Rough Riders defensively, picking up the shortened complete-game victory. Sopocy went for 4 innings, allowed no runs on just one hit, walked nobody, and struck out 5 as he faced and set down the entire Rough Riders order while only allowing each hitter to take one single at-bat.

“Mike was outstanding again today,” Shawn Lee commented after the game. “We take away that hit from Ross Nussle, and Mike has a perfect game. He’s been brilliant all year and it didn’t stop today despite ridiculous temperatures and humidity on the field. He just dials in and gets the job done. He’s a competitor and we’re glad he’s a Spirit.”

Eric McPherson and Vince Parello also helped carry the Spirits offense, each finishing with a pair of hits on the day. McPherson added a double and Parello tripled with each hitter also drawing a walk, scoring once, and knocking in a pair of runs.

The game remained quiet through the first 3 innings with the ghosts scoring one run in both the first and second innings, and then nothing in the third. With a 2 to 0 lead and heading into the fourth, the team opened up for 13 runs to put the game away and out of reach for the Rough Riders.

Brian Hackney, David Tipton, and Lester Bedford each walked to start the inning and Hackney later scored on a passed ball. A balk call against pitcher Abhi Mahajan allowed Tipton to score and another balk call moved the runners over. Mahajan, a former cricket player, struggled with coming to the required complete stop out of the stretch and the umpires weren’t having it. Chad McCune then doubled home Bedford and after swiping third base, he later scored on a sacrifice fly by McPherson. Parello tripled and then scored on another balk call against Mahajan, and Lee followed with a single to keep the bases busy. Will Nash reached on an error that allowed Lee to move to third and for Nash to end up at second, and a follow up double by Fischer scored both runners.

The Rough Riders then turned to Perry Allison to pitch and the merry-go-round continued for the Spirits. A combination of wild pitches and four straight walks led to 3 more runs before McCune reached on an error allowing Tipton to score. Allison’s stint ended quickly as the Rough Riders then turned to Stephen Tigh who followed with 3 straight walks to McPherson, Parello, and Lee, allowing Bedford and McCune to score before Nash lost a battle of strikes and Fischer grounded out to finally get both teams out of the inning.

Sopocy then set the Rough Riders in order, adding the exclamation point by striking out Mahajan and Joshua Handra to end the game.

“This was kind of a tough one,” Lee continued. “It’s hard to watch a team go through growing pains as they struggle to find out the combination of players and positions to play. They’re new to the league and some of their guys are actually learning the game. What’s really what we’re out here for. When you put that up against veteran baseball players, it’s just going to be a difficult combination. Had they stuck with Nussle at pitcher, this outcome may have been a little different for us, but I imagine he can’t pitch and play every position as well. He’s a solid ball player. But they’ll figure things out as they get more experience. They gave us a lot of runs today but at the same time, my guys also stayed focused enough to play against the game.”

The Spirits return to action next Thursday when they visit the Denton Expos. First pitch is at 8:45PM at Cowboy Field in Coppell, and fans can click here for schedule details or for instructions on listening and watching the game live online.

Game Box Score

Central Roofing and Restoration Players of the Game

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

Kent Fischer (3-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI)

Mike Sopocy (0-1, R, 2 BB; 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 6 K)