(June 19, 2019 – Euless, TX) It started off as a game. It looked like the Spirits (40+) squad and the ball club might be turning the corner for the season. And just like the clear skies that appeared before the game began, looks can be deceiving. The Spirits didn’t just let a 5 run lead slip away in a shortened game that was called due to lightning on Wednesday night, but rather let the bottom fall out of what would have been a nice win for the squad in DFW ABA League play. The Spirits used a 4-run first inning followed by earning a fifth run in the second only to watch as the third inning turned into what can only be described as a dumpster fire.
The squad started off hot as Eric McPherson led things off with a single and quickly stole second base. Stacy Scott flew out, but a single by Kirk Sipila pushed McPherson to third and the Spirits offense was in business, early. Shawn Lee‘s RBI single scored McPherson and moved Sipila to second and a single by Patrick Bilgere scored Sipila. Both Lee and Bilgere scored after Bobby Kornhauser tripled and just like that, the team was up 4 to 0 before Redibirds starting pitcher, Chris Cec eventually got David Tipton and Brant Finchum on strikes.
The team made it 5 to 0 in the second after John Hefner drew a walk and advanced when Scott singled. Both runners advanced and the bases were loaded after Sipila singled and Hefner later scored on another RBI single from Bilgere.
The Redbirds rallied for a run in the second after Cec led things off with a single. Finchum, the Spirits starter was able to get Jeremy Frenel and Jason Powell to fly out and it appeared the Spirits defense might get off the field unscathed, but Lester Bedford and Jerry Anderson each followed with singles and Cec was able to score to cut the lead down to, 5 to 1.
The Spirits offense was held in the third and that’s when all hell broke loose. The Redbirds followed with a 9-run third that was everything including embarrassing for quick start the ghosts used to get a lead on the league’s second place team. The Redbirds used 5 singles, 2 doubles, 2 walks and a Spirits fielding error to make the game look like batting practice and it was over less the crying.
A dejected Spirits offense returned to the box in the fourth only to see Jerry Anderson make quick work of the squad in his relief effort of Cec. The game continued momentarily in the fourth before lightening shortened the game to completion.
Lee declined comment following the game. The team will have opportunity to regroup and they’ll need to find something soon as the season winds down to the final 3 games and as playoffs loom for the top 6 teams. If the season ended today the team will make the top 6, but may really find some issues competing with the top half of the bracket. They return to action next Wednesday night as they visit the Brewers (1-12) on Legends Field at Texas Star Complex starting at 8:45PM. Click here for game details.