(September 28, 2022 – Euless, TX) A combination of solid offense and consistent scoring, alongside another night of outstanding pitching by Craig Molldrem led to another Spirits victory Wednesday night in DFW-ABA 40 Fall League action.
Molldrem struck out 9 hitters in just 5 innings of work, delivering 44 strikes compared to just 13 balls. The Fighting Chihuahuas were able to scatter 6 hits on the night, a few of which that could have just as easily turned into outs if the Spirits defense were able to make a few more plays.
Overall, the defense only let up with one error on the night, compared to 5 blunders in the field of play for the Chihuahuas. The Spirits scored in each and every inning played before the game ended after 5 innings of play due to the mercy rule, with the Spirits walking away with a 10 to 0 win.
Will Nash finished 3-for-3 on the night, adding 2 runs scored and 2 runs batted in to lead all hitters. Travis Hitzeman and Cliff Brade each added a pair of hits on the night, each earning a double as well. Brade scored twice and Hitzeman scored once and added a pair of RBIs as well.
The Spirits added 3 runs in the first inning after Brade doubled to lead off the game. He moved to third on a wild pitch and Eric McPherson drew a walk off of Chihuahuas starter, Alph Colvin, who struggled with consistency most of the night. Hitzeman singled home Brade and Eric Goetz loaded the bags after reaching on an error by Colvin trying to cover first on the infield grounder. Nash then followed with a hard single to score both McPherson and Hitzeman before Molldrem grounded out, Mike Sopocy lost the battle on swings, and Earl German grounded out.
In the second inning, Chris Lewis singled and Stacy Scott followed with another single after David Tipton went down swinging. Scott stole second to join Lewis in scoring position after he previously moved to third on the hit by Scott. Shawn Hunt then reached on another fielding error that allowed Lewis to score after Sam Welsh booted the ball at shortstop. Brade popped out to the infield, but Scott was able to cross the dish after Rene Villalobos dropped a fly ball in center that allowed McPherson to reach base before Hitzeman hit a rocket to right center field that was then caught to end the inning.
Up 5 to 0, the Spirits defense got out of a jam after Erik Jaramillo singled and then was doubled up after the next Chihuahua’s hitter grounded to Molldrem, who prompted relayed to Scott at short and then over to first for the 1-6-3 double-play. The ghosts then picked up another pair of runs in the third after Goetz was hit by a pitch and Nash followed with his second single on the night. Molldrem grounded out to the right side but was able to plate Goetz on the play, and Nash later scored on an errant through by Colvin to try to pick him off at third after the play.
Molldrem struck out the sid in the bottom half of the inning, and the Spirits tacked on another pair of runs in the fourth after Hunt walked with two outs. Brade followed with a single, and another single by McPherson scored Hunt. Hitzeman then doubled home Brade before Goetz grounded out, and the Spirits had an 9 to 0 lead moving into the bottom half of the inning.
Villalobos started the Chihuahuas fourth with a single, but his life was short-lived after he attempted to swipe second and Nash gunned him down following a Molldrem fastball and a nice throw to second. Molldrem was then able to get Brandon Mitchell to ground out before striking out Colvin to end the inning.
In the top of the fifth, Nash singled and moved to second after a wild pitch. He then moved to third after Molldrem grounded out, looking to give the Spirits the mercy run they needed to end the game. Sopocy drew a walk and then went onto swipe second before German flew out. Nash was then able to score with two outs after Colvin had two strikes against Lewis at the plate when the Chihuahuas catcher suddenly decided to make a pickoff attempt at third with the throw making its way to the left field grass. The Spirits then had a 10 to 0 lead before Lewis lost the battle on strikes, and with the Chihuahuas due up to attempt to keep the game alive.
Despite Jaramillo’s second single on the night, Molldrem went on to strike out the next three hitters to seal another shutout victory for the ghosts.
The team returns to action next Wednesday night with a doubleheader against Los Viejos starting at 6:30PM and 8:45PM. Games will take place on Arlington Field at Texas Star. Click here for game one details and here for game two details.