(June 29, 2022 – Euless, TX) The Spirits (40+) squad closed out the regular season in DFW-ABA 40 League action on Wednesday night, splitting a doubleheader with the Rattlers to secure the #2 seed for the playoffs, which begin on Tuesday following the 4th of July holiday.
In the first game, offense was missing and defense simply wasn’t ready to play as the ghosts handed an easy 13 to 3 decision to the Rattlers. The Rattlers battered the Spirits with 13 hits, scoring 10 earned out of 13 runs, while also holding the Spirits defense accountable for 5 errors. Aaron Wilson was the lone spark in game one, finishing 2-for-2 with a run scored.
Game two turned out to be a better result as the defense settled in and the offense found a little better hold in the batter’s box as the team rallied for a 7 to 3 decision. Wilson once again added a pair of hits along with 2 runs scored, an RBI, and a stolen base. Bobby Kornhauser and Shawn Hunt also added 2 hits each, with Hunt adding a double that fell just short of being a home run over the left field wall.
Tied at 1 to 1 in the bottom of the second, the Spirits rallied for 4 runs after Will Nash drew a one-out walk. Earl German reached on a fielder’s choice that squeezed Nash at second, and with two out it appeared the offense may once again sputter, but Hunt came through with a crushing double to the left field wall that allowed German to score and also kept the inning alive. Stacy Scott was hit by a pitch and Wilson followed with an RBI single good to score Hunt. Wilson stole second base and Scott was able to cross the dish after Rattlers catcher, Stephen Smith threw the ball to centerfield when trying to gun down Wilson. A walk to Kirk Sipila kept the inning rolling and Travis Hitzeman made it hurt by singling home Wilson to give Spirits a 5 to 1 advantage before Kornhauser went down swinging.
An RBI single by Hunt that scored Don Massoud in the third gave the Spirits a 6 to 1 lead before the Rattlers rallied for a pair of runs in the fourth to cut the lead to, 6 to 3. The Spirits then picked up an insurance run in the sixth after Hitzeman drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a single by Kornhauser. David Tipton went down swinging, but Duane Aponte came in for Massoud and was able to reach on a fielder’s choice good enough to score Hitzeman, who had moved to third on an error by the Rattlers pitcher, Rick Oden.
Aponte picks up the victory with six innings of work, allowing 3 earned on 7 hits, while walking and striking out 3.
The team will return to play next Tuesday, after being forced to play two games to start DFW-ABA 40 League playoffs on an off night. The Spirits play host and then visit the #3 seeded Redbirds. Both games take place at Texas Star on Arlington field, with game one starting at 6:30PM and game two starting at 8:45PM. If necessary, there will be a game three on Wednesday night at Texas Star, this time on Legends Field at 6:30PM.