(September 23, 2023 – Carrollton, TX) It was another mercy-rule victory for the ghosts, who have spent less time on the diamond getting wins than normal. The team has averaged around 15 runs per game for the DFW-ABA 50 Fall League season, thus only averaging four and a half to five innings per game due to the league’s 10-run mercy rule. This past Saturday, it was the Freebirds who fell victim to the Spirits offense as the ghosts put up a 9-spot in the second to breeze to a 12 to 2 win.
With 13 in the starting lineup and 2 more added after the first trip through, the Spirits (50+) were still able to load up on some stats despite few at-bats between a large load of players. John Mahalik, Will Nash, Mike Sopocy, and Earl German each finished with 2 hits. Stacy Scott continued his ridiculous Fall season of hitting, finishing 1-for-1 with a double, walk, 2 runs scored, and an RBI.
German looked great from the mound as well, allowing no runs and no hits through 3 innings of work, walking zero and striking out 6. Kirk Sipila added an inning of work allowing one unearned run off of zero hits and adding a strikeout, while Luis Ruiz made his debut for the Spirits, finishing an inning of work while allowing one earned off of 2 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 2.
Eric McPherson scored in the first inning after reaching on an error and them moving to second base. He later scored on an RBI single by Sipila. German set the Freebirds in order to close the first and the Spirits tacked on 9 runs in the second after Sopocy led off with a single. James Hardt followed with a single and Sopocy was able to score following a Freebirds fielding error, and the merry-go-round kept moving for a while. Steven Nutt walked and Scott doubled to score Hardt and it was 3 to 0, Spirits. Todd Murrah singled home Nutt and an RBI single by German scored Nutt. German stole second to put runners in scoring position and a walk to Chris Allen loaded the bags. McPherson popped out to the infield but Murrah was able to cross the dish following a wild pitch and German scored on a sacrifice fly by Sipila. Mahalik, Shawn Lee, and Nash each singled, scoring Allen and eventually Mahalik, and the Freebirds turned to David Barela to replace starting pitcher, Sean Simlar. Kent Fischer greeted Barela with a free trip to first via a walk, and another walk to Sopocy allowed Lee to score before Hardt flew out.
Both Nutt and Scott walked in the third inning and eventually scored on an RBI single by German to make it 12 to 0, Spirits, before the Freebirds broke scoring ice in the fourth after Matt Chancey was hit by a pitch ad moved to third following a Spirits throwing error. He eventually scored when Matthew Moody grounded out and the birds eventually picked up run number 2 after Jeffrey Poteat and Dane Shillan started the fifth inning with singles. Ben Smiley flew out and a pair of walks to Keith Russ and then Barela gave the Freebirds a free run before Ruiz struck out the next two hitters to end the game.
The Spirits move to 4-0 on the Fall season and will revisit the same Freebirds squad a week from now when the two teams meet at Lively Park in Irving. First pitch is scheduled for 9:00AM and fans can click here for schedule details or instructions on how to watch and listen live online.