Note: Yes, I am aware of the news. And I will have plenty to say about the departure of the Spirit once the season is over. But for now, I have precious few chances to do what I love the most - talk about the games played by my favorite baseball team. So that's what we'll do.
It was definitely not the best of nights at Fraser Field. All night, the Spirit tried to scratch and claw their way back from an early 2 run deficit. From the 1st thru 7th innings, the Spirit stranded 9 baserunners and wasted many chances to get back in it. Finally, in the 8th, they broke through, when Mike Torres's broken bat bloop single over the shortstop's head scored Nilson Teilon and tied the game at 2.
Unfortunately, as if Spirit fans needed another kick in the balls tonight, the Surf got the win by fighting back to put a run on the board in the 9th off of Jamie Baker. Lucas Taylor hit a go-ahead RBI single up the middle with 2 outs to give Atlantic City a 3-2 win and even the best-of-5 series at 1 as the scene shifts to scenic (not) New Jersey for the remainder of the series.
Jamie Baker got the loss for the Spirit. Jamie Tricoglou earned the win, giving up the 1 run in the 8th over 3 innings of relief work. Each starter got a no decision - Matt Bishop, who gave up two runs in 6.1, and Ben Thurmond, who yielded 1 run in 6 innings of work.
Bishop pitched quite well in the game overall, but put the Spirit behind the 8-ball by giving up a pair of runs in each of the first two innings. In the first, Will Quintana's RBI groundout scored Taylor to make it 1-0. Atlantic City added one in the 2nd. Clyde Williams led off the inning with a double and was brought home by a Wally Rosa RBI single.
The Spirit halved the lead in the 4th on a sacrifice fly to center by Mike Torres which scored Teilon, but they blew a chance to do more damage. North Shore had runners on 2nd & 3rd with 1 out but could only bring in the one run as Josue Lopez grounded out to end the inning.
North Shore had baserunners in each of the next three innings, but failed to score in each before ultimately breaking through in the 8th.
When forced to rally in the 9th, however, they fell short, when Vic Davilla grounded out weakly to first to end the ballgame, and perhaps an era.