Top Half of Batting Order Carries Spirits (40+) Over Los Viejos

(May 3, 2023 – Euless, TX) As the skipper would say, there were a lot of mouths to feed in the Spirits (40+) lineup on Wednesday night. The team lined up 13 hitters in the contest scheduled versus Los Viejos, and the squad did a solid job of turning over the order, with the top half carrying the team to victory in DFW-ABA 40 League action.

Duane Aponte went for 6 innings, allowing 2 earned runs early in the game off a total of 7 hits, while walking and striking out 3. Kirk Sipila closed off things against Los Viejos, allowing a hit while striking out 2 hitters before adding the exclamation point to the Spirits’ 10 to 2 victory.

Cliff Brade, Eric McPherson, Sipila, and Will Nash led the team with 2 hits each, with Brade finishing 2-for-2 with a walk, 3 runs scored, an RBI, and 2 stolen bags. McPherson finished with a run scored and 2 runs batted in, while Sipila added a double, 2 runs scored and an RBI. Nash scored once and Eric Goetz and Shawn Lee each singled, each scoring once and knocking in a run with Lee also adding a walk. Aponte added a pair of runs batted in and Earl German tripled and scored to round off the Spirits box score.

David Tipton chases down a hard hit fly ball during the Spirits 10 to 2 win over Los Viejos (Photo Credit: Roy Rice)

Scott Bergset and Chris Duty led Los Viejos, each finishing with a pair of hits with Duty adding a double and an RBI and Bergset adding a run scored and an RBI. The team earned an early 2 to 0 lead in the top half of the first inning after Randall Dick singled to start off the game and Kent Fischer reached on a fielder’s choice that put out Dick at second. Gary Jackson flew out and Fischer moved to second following a wild pitch. An RBI single by Bergset scored Fischer and a follow up double by Duty scored Bergset to give Los Viejos the lead before Aponte stuck out Richard Campbell to end the Viejos half of the inning.

The Spirits then rallied for 5 runs in the bottom of the frame after Brade walked and eventually stole second base. An RBI single by McPherson scored Brade and he moved to second after Sipila singled to left. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch that allowed McPherson to score before Nash grounded out. Eric Goetz kept the inning rolling with a single and Lee drew a base-on-balls to load the bags. Aponte reached on an error that allowed both Sipila and Goetz to score, and after Shawn Hunt lined out with a screamer to left, Lee was able to score when the Viejos catch attempted to pick off Aponte at first and threw the ball into right field. David Tipton lost the battle on swings to end the inning.

The Spirits later made it 8 to 2 after Brade led off the bottom half of the third with a single. An error by Jackson, the Viejos starting pitcher allowed Brade to advance to second before McPherson grounded out allowing Brade to move to third on the throw. An RBI double by Sipila scored Brade and a follow up single by Nash moved Sipila to third before Goetz grounded out. Sipila scored on the play and Nash was safe at second before Lee singled to left to score Nash. Aponte flew out to end the inning but the Spirits had some added insurance after three complete.

Aponte remained in control backed by some solid defense and the Spirits went on to make it 10 to 2 in the fifth inning after both Brant Finchum and Stacy Scott grounded out to start the inning. German followed with a triple and a single by Brade scored him. Brade swiped his second bag of the game and then later scored on an RBI single by McPherson to give the game its final score before Sipila flew out on a line drive.

Aponte held the Viejos bats quiet during the next frame and again backed by some solid defense before Sipila closed the seventh to seal the victory.

“Nice win after how we’ve played over the past couple of weeks,” Lee commented afterwards. “We showed some signs of getting back on track. Tough to turn over the lineup with 13 hitters but the guys did pretty good. I thought (Shawn) Hunt did a great job behind the dish tonight and calling the game for Duane (Aponte). He made a great throw to catch one of the Viejos stealing; just a strike. Guy was out by five feet. We’re happy to get back in the W column.”

The team returns to action next Wednesday when they face up against a great hitting Rattlers team. First pitch is slated for 8:45PM on Arlington Field at Texas Star. Fans can click here for schedule details.

Game Box Score

Next Level Sports Apparel Players of the Game

Cliff Brade (2-2, 3 R, RBI, BB, 2 SB)

Kirk Sipila (2-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI; 1 IP, 0 ER, H, 2 K)

Duane Aponte (0-2, 2 RBI; 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K)