(July 18, 2016 – Carrollton, TX) It was one of those nights, again. The Spirits (45+) crew saw approximately 3 players show up for Monday night’s game and the metaphor proved costly as they dropped their second straight game, this time to the 1-9 Cubs.
Kirk Sipila pitched well but the lack of offense became offensive as shortstop Eric McPherson and second baseman Patrick Bilgere provided the only hitting from the Spirits side of the box score. Each hitter had a double and single, respectively while returning right fielder Dennis Gonzalez added 2 walks. Combined, the team left 7 runners on base including a failure to capitalize on bases loaded with one out in the 4th inning proceeding to fall by a final score of 3 to 2.
Sipila managed decent numbers, pitching 5 innings and giving up no earned runs. He gave up 5 hits, 2 walks, while striking out 5 hitters but the effort wasn’t enough as his team couldn’t muster up any offensive rhythm. “We didn’t deserve to win tonight,” commented Sipila. “With (Shawn) Lee and (Brant) Finchum out, we needed some guys to step up and it didn’t happen. Other players need to step up right now.” Starting left fielder Shawn Lee left last Monday’s game with a possible tear in his hamstring, while starting utility man Brant Finchum injured his calf playing on the previous day in a different league. Both players currently represent 2 of the top 3 batting averages on the team so it’s very possible their absences hurt on a night that was begging for one big hit. Both players are day to day.
To add insult to injury, pun intended, the Spirits defense collapsed with 5 errors leading to all 3 of the Cubs runs. The setting Sun was certainly a factor on the left side of the infield, however the Cubs seemed to be able to make plays that the Spirits didn’t. The combination for the offensive and defensive failures proved to be fatal, as the loss drops the team to the middle of the pack within the NTABL Masters League Standings with plenty of games left to make a run. The team returns to action this coming Saturday morning, July 23 as they attempt to avenge last Monday’s collapse against the Caddo Reds. First pitch is 11:15AM at Jesuit College Preparatory.
Additionally, several players from both the Spirits (35+) and (45+) teams will be taking the field in the NTABL Charity All-Star Games to benefit Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children on Sunday morning. Visit the Dallas Spirits Baseball Club website and check out Team News to learn more. Games begin at 8:30AM Sunday morning at Dr. Pepper Ball Park in Frisco, TX.