(October 7, 2020 – Euless, TX) It was one of those nights scripted for baseball. Fall temperatures and an evening devoid of the typical wind gusts put up by Texas skies. As far as the ball diamond goes, it was a game that featured limited offense but one that saw solid play and pitching. The game turned out to be a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel and the Spirits (40+) squad found themselves on top when the game ended in DWF-ABA League action.
Spirits starting pitcher, Stacey Scott went the distance, completing all 7 innings allowing no runs on 6 hits while walking 4 and striking out 5. Scott finishes with the complete-game win and his counterpart, Manual Rodriguez III wasn’t bad either. Rodriguez III also went the distance, finishing on 6 innings pitched while allowing 2 runs, one earned and only 5 hits while walking one and striking out 5 hitters of his own.
The game saw its first two hits on the night after Steve Trocchio singled in the top half of the second for the Fighting Chihuahuas. Brandon Mitchell flew out but James Nichols followed with another single and both runners advanced after the Spirits fielded as slow roller to second that allowed a put-out at first base. With two on and two out, Mercedes Mendoza walked to load the bases and it appeared the dogs may be in business, but Scott refocused and was able to strike out the next Chihuahuas hitter looking to get out of the jam.
Shawn Lee was able to slap a double down the left field line with on out in the Spirits half of the second, but John Hefner went down on strikes and Rodriguez III was able to get Aaron Wilson to fly out leaving the score at 0 to 0.
Fast forward to the bottom half of the third inning with the game still scoreless and Bobby Kornhauser reached base after getting hit by a pitch. Brant Finchum drew a base-on-balls and Scott was able to then reach on a fielder’s choice that squeezed Finchum at second and pushed Kornhauser to third. Earl German played hero with a line drive single to right field that plated Kornhauser and the Spirits had a 1 to 0 lead before David Tipton went down on strikes and Eric McPherson popped out.
Scott was able to get the Chihuahuas in order in the fourth and the Spirits made a little noise in the bottom half of the inning after Travis Hitzeman reached on an error with one out and Lee beat out an infield single. Hefner reached on a fielder’s choice that put Hitzeman out at third, but Rodriguez III rallied to get Wilson to fly out and end the inning for the second time on the night.
The game remained quiet until the sixth when Tipton reached on a one-out single and then moved to second after McPherson followed with another single. McPherson was squeezed at second and Tipton moved to third after Kirk Sipila reached on a fielder’s choice, but Tipton was able to take home on the play after the Chihuahua’s first baseman fumbled the relay and attempt for a double-play. Hitzeman flew out to end the inning but the Spirits had a 2 to 0 lead moving into the seventh.
That’s when the Spirits defense took over to seal the win. Scott was able to get Mendoza on strikes but the next hitter reached on a single to keep the hopes alive for the Chihuahuas. The runner took off for second after ball one went to Chris Mays and Hefner threw a dart to Lee at second and Lee followed with a fast and hard tag that put down the runner to record the second out of the inning. Mays eventually drew a walk but Scott was able to get Charles Carr off balance for strike three looking and the Spirits had themselves a W.
“Great effort by the guys tonight defensively,” Lee mentioned. “Scott had some decent control of his pitches and we didn’t make any mistakes on the field. It was a quiet game but it was a fun game to be a part of. Solid effort by both teams and we’re happy to come out on top.”
The Spirits return to action next Wednesday night when they host the Cubs on Legends Field at Texas Star. Click here for schedule details or to download the iScore Central app to listen to the game live online.