(June 25, 2018 – Plano, TX) The wind blowing straight in from center field at 25 miles per hour plus can typically be expected at Graham Field on any given night. But the actual wind wasn’t the only thing blowing on the grounds of Prestonwood Christian Academy this past Monday night as the DFW Hurricanes steadfastly stood behind the winds of change as well, giving the first place Spirits (45+) a bit of notice that they can and will contend with the team despite standings and team records.
The Hurricanes jumped out to a quick, 2 to 0 lead in the top half of the first after Brad Petty led the game off with a single but was quickly squeezed after Terry Helm grounded him into a fielder’s choice to put one on with one out. Helm later stole second and a ground out by Vince Parello led the Spirits to believe they might get out of the inning unscathed. Gregory Anderson followed through for the Hurricanes however, reaching on a single that pushed Helm to third. Anderson would later take second while Spirits starting pitcher, Kirk Sipila delivered to Jose Guevara and Guevara struck pay dirt with a single that scored both runners. Sipila rebounded to get Michael Madsen to ground out, but the Hurricanes had an early lead.
The Spirits rallied in the bottom half of the inning however, starting with a one-out single by Patrick Bilgere. Bilgere stole second and Guy Koenig drew a walk to put two on with one out and Eric McPherson was able to load the bases after drawing a walk. Shawn Lee flew out to center, but the wind-blow ball wasn’t deep enough for Bilgere to tag. Bilgere was able to score later following a wild pitch delivered to Brian Hackney, and Hackney went on to single to score both Koenig and McPherson who previously advanced on the earlier wild pitch and the Spirits led the game, 3 to 2.
The Hurricanes went in order in the second and the Spirits added another 4 runs in the bottom half of the inning after Sean House singled and Brant Finchum walked. Sipila followed up with a single to load the bases and Mark Leemaster also singled to score House. Bilgere picked up another of his three singles on the night and it was good enough to score Finchum and Sipila, and Koenig pushed the remaining runners over with a fly out to right. Leemaster was eventually tagged out and third and Bilgere made his way over to third after a wild pitch from Guevara. McPherson drew a walk and stole second, and Bilgere eventually scored on an RBI single by Lee and the Spirits led, 7 to 2.
In appeared the game might turn into a blowout after the Spirits picked up 2 additional runs in the third when John Holmquist drew a walk and stole second and then scored on an RBI double by House. Finchum walked and Sipila lined out. Leemaster reached on an fielder’s choice that squeezed Finchum and Bilgere’s third single on the night scored House to give the Spirits a 9 to 2 lead.
The Hurricanes rallied however, picking up 3 runs in the fourth after Parello led the inning off with a single. Anderson flew out but Parello was able to swipe second and later score on a double by Guevara. Madsen singled to push Guevara to third and Paul Dominguez followed with a single to load the bases. The Spirits defense retired Mason Gann with no damage on a line drive out, but the Hurricanes picked up 2 more runs after Eric Reifschneider hit an easy grounder to Finchum at shortstop. Finchum had an easy play at second, but his throw went awry and into right field and the error put the Hurricanes in reaching distance, cutting the lead down to 9 to 5.
The Hurricanes cut the lead to 9 to 6 after Terry Helm reached on catcher’s interference with two outs in the fifth inning. Helm stole second and then scored after Leemaster dropped a fly ball in right. House, who replaced Sipila at pitcher was able to get Anderson to ground out however, and the Spirits defense held the rest of the way despite a single by Guevara in the sixth. Guevara led the Hurricanes with 3 hits, including a double and 3 RBIs.
Bilgere led the Spirits box score with 3 hits, 2 runs scored, 3 RBI, and a stolen base. House added a pair of hits, including the double alongside 2 runs scored and a run batted in and also picking up the save. Hackney rounded up the box with a single, 2 runs scored and an RBI. The win pushes the team’s record to 11-1 where they remain atop the NTABL Masters League standings. The club returns to action next Monday night when they host the second place, Caddo Reds at Graham Field starting at 6:30PM. Click here for schedule details, to obtain driving directions, or to watch and listen to the game live, online!