(August 1, 2016 – Carrollton, TX) Upon reviewing the box score, you might think the Dallas Spirits (45+) squad was into football or that perhaps the old marketing campaign for Southwest Airlines, “Must be Football Season” was in effect based on the numbers filling the scoreboard. Those big numbers were in high production for a number of Spirits hitters, including both first baseman Brian Hackney and catcher, Patrick Bilgere. The two combined in contributing 13 runs towards the 15 the team put up on Monday night as the Spirits rolled past the Dallas Bulls, 15 to 5.
Shortstop Brant Finchum wasn’t going to be outdone either, as he jumped aboard the offensive train as well. Finchum was good for a 3 for 3 performance, which included 3 stolen bases, a walk, and 4 runs scored. Kirk Sipila also put up valuable numbers going 1 for 2, with two free trips to first base, and 3 runs scored. The Spirits also did something different defensively, slipping Eric McPherson in to pitch. McPherson was solid and went the distance allowing only 3 earned runs on 6 hits, walking 2, and striking out 6. He added a 2 for 3 performance from the plate, including a base on balls, 2 RBI, and 3 runs scored. Both Hackney and Bilgere contributed 5 RBIs apiece.
Left fielder Randy Brittain remained hot from the plate adding a 2 for 3 performance with one walk. David Tipton contributed a single as well. McPherson, Hackney, and Bilgere all contributed a double to round up your Spirits offense in the blowout. The win keeps the team 4th in the standings, a half game behind the Caddo Reds in which the team is 1-1 against this season.
Sipila was happy about his team’s performance following the final. “It was great to see an offensive explosion tonight. I’ve previously noted that our team’s defense is one of our strengths and that once our offense came around, we’d certainly have a hat in the outcome of this league. Hopefully tonight was that first step in the right direction. Nothing like building some confidence moving forward. The guys played great tonight.”
There wasn’t much to frown upon in the victory other than a handful of errors defensively. The team finished with 4 errors defensively and left 9 runners stranded during the offensive clinic. The Spirits returns to action next Thursday night as Reverchon Park reopens itself to NTABL baseball. The Spirits visit the Dallas Orioles at 6:30PM and look to seek revenge on the undefeated, league-leading birds. The Orioles hold two beatings against the ghouls, including a 16-1 pounding in April and a 10-2 lesson back in June.