In their 2023-24 season home opener, David Bascome’s Baltimore Blast faced off against the Texas Outlaws after a notable playoff run that led them to Chihuahua, Mexico last season.
Despite a tough loss in the Ron Newman Cup finals last season, the Blast secured the Eastern Conference title with a solid 13-8-3 regular-season record.
With a mix of fresh faces and returning veterans, the team geared up for the new season. The game against the Outlaws was a spirited one, however the Blast fell short to Outlaws, 9 - 5.
Sebastian Mendez kicked off the night with a solid left-footer from Cody Ellis. Josh Hughes responded for the Blast, scoring on the right-side post after a sharp pass from Juan Pereira at the top of the box, closing in on the Outlaws' lead. With a pass from Ricardinho Sobreira, Mike Deasel returned to goal, putting the Blast ahead by one as the second quarter began. In the final minute of the first quarter, Juan Pereira had a penalty kick opportunity from Uzi Tayou, but couldn't get it past Jesus Rivera.
The Blast entered the second quarter with a strong one-man advantage, however the Outlaws successfully killed the powerplay. Victor Parreiras, formerly a member of the Florida Tropics, opened up the third quarter recording his first goal in a Blast jersey. Luiz Morales answered for Texas with his first of the night cutting the Blast lead by one. Ricardinho Sobreira extended the Blast lead further, 4-2, with an assist from Tony Donatelli.
Following an intense first half, the Blast experienced a decline in momentum, conceding three goals in the third quarter. Sebastian Mendez scored his second goal of the night with an assist from Axel Chakounte, reducing the Blast's lead by one. Luiz Morales added two more goals, securing his second and third of the night, and propelled the Outlaws to their first lead of the second half with a powerplay goal.
Stephen Gonzales continued the lead into the fourth quarter, 4-6. Andy Reyes recorded his first of the season, extending the Outlaws 3 goal lead. Baltimore pulled goalkeeper Mike Zierhoffer, moving to a sixth-attacker offense with Tony Donatelli. This lead to an empty net goal by Sebastian Mendez, his third of the night. The Blast kept fighting and pressing towards goal. Victor Parreiras returned with his second of the night, giving Baltimore their only goal of the second half. David Ortiz scored the final goal of the night on an empty net, securing the Outlaws first win of the 2023-24 season.