(July 29, 2020 – Euless, TX) If you could have picked a lacrosse game or perhaps paint-drying competition to watch on Wednesday night, it may have proved more exciting to divulge in as the Spirits (40+) squad picked up a somewhat easy win in a very sloppy played game in DFW-ABA League action at Texas Star.
The Spirits finished the 8 to 5 victory with 9 hits, but left 9 runners on base before finishing the night with 7 errors in the field of play. With an 8 to 0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, the game at that point was one-sided, with the Spirits cruising to an easy win. But the team left the door open for the Cubs and 5 runs later the faces of the Spirits players showed raised eyebrows as they left Arlington Field with a win.
The ghosts picked up 4 runs in the second after a quiet first inning when Bobby Kornhauser reached on an error and the stole second. David Tipton drew a walk and a single by Dan Sosa scored Kornhauser to give the Spirits a 1 to 0 lead. Brant Finchum was able to come around and score on an error by the Cubs catcher and after Sosa swiped second and moved to third on the same error, he was able to later score on a wild pitch from Cubs starter, Bill Nellis. Chris Lewis was called out on a questionable third strike and John Hefner kept the inning alive with a single. Hefner then swiped second and advanced to third on a wild pitch and two pitches later was able to score as another Nellis pitch hit the turf. Earl German drew a walk and advanced to second on a single by Aaron Wilson, but the inning ended after Eric McPherson hit a hard line drive directly to the Cubs center fielder. The Spirits held a nice 4 to 0 advantage early.
After Tipton led off the fourth with an infield pop-up just past the pitcher’s mound, he was able to turn the folly into a double after the Cubs were unable to chase it down and the ball rolled and stopped at the first base foul line 70 feet away from home. Tipton would later score on an RBI single from Sosa and the Spirits held a 5 to 0 advantage.
Heading into the sixth inning, Kornhauser wore a pitch with one out to give the Spirits a runner before things got a bit “heated.” As Tipton was settling in for a few pitches, he was having a direct but somewhat friendly exchange or conversation with the home umpire. As the dialogue continued through the at bat, literally pitch-by-pitch, Nellis decided he had heard enough and directed Tipton to “hit the damn ball.” A few more words were exchanged before Nellis made his way toward Tipton at home. Tipton stepped out of the box and with both hands down and with no intent to go next level the two exchanged words before Nellis bumped into Tipton. The home plate umpire inexplicably ejected Tipton for the ordeal and despite a great deal of additional words before he was off the field and out of the dugout, Nellis was then ejected for continuing his dialogue.
“Things got weird for a moment,” mentioned Shawn Lee after the game. “Their competitive juices were going and I don’t think either of them had a bad intent to take it next level. It was a lot of chatter and we got it sorted out. Both of them were shaking hands and laughing 5 minutes later. I think the ump could have handled that a lot better, but I had a chat with him afterward and we agreed to a ‘wash’ on the call and that no further penalties were required. We’re all friends and colleagues here, but sometimes we get competitive. Shhh happens.”
Kornhauser was able to later score after Finchum singled him home and with a 6 to 0 lead, the Spirits appeared to be cruising. After Hefner doubled in the sixth, he was able to score on an error by the Cubs shortstop that allowed German to reach safely. German was able to reach second on the play and one batter later, he scored when Wilson reached on an error by the Cubs shortstop.
The Spirits headed into the bottom of the seventh with an 8 to 0 lead before all hell appeared to break loose. Pete Dwyer reached on a Spirits error and then Moretz was hit by a Sosa pitch. Drew Rickey drew a base-on-balls and then Randall Dick doubled to score both Dwyer and Moretz. Worth Chollar lined out, but Rick Rosales singled tos core Ricky and the score was 5 to 3. Nellis’ position in the order left the Cubs with runners at the corners and two down, but Rosales was able to steal second and a single by Heath Baker cut the score to 8 to 5 after both Dick and Rosales scored. The Spirits were able to get James Greer to fly out to end the game and the Spirits left the field shrugging shoulders wondering what just took place.
“It was an ugly win,” continued Lee. We popped the ball up to the infield the entire game, we threw and kicked the ball around. We’re a little lucky to get out of here with a W, but we’ll take it. Hopefully that’s a lesson learned and we don’t underestimate anyone again. One to the next one.”
The team will get back to action next Wednesday night and things won’t be much easier as they visit the league-leading Redbirds at 6:30PM on Arlington Field at Texas Star. Click here for schedule details and to learn how you can download the iScore Central app to listen to games live online!
Waxahachie Autoplex Players of the Game