Danville Dans News

Ten-run seventh carries Danville past Springfield

BY BRIAR NAPIER sports@dancomnews.com

Friday night’s Prospect League matchup between the Danville Dans and the Springfield Sliders turned into a test of who was going to blink first.

Both pitching rotations were dealing their way around every hitter, out of every jam and through a plethora of other situations entering the latter stages of the game, with simultaneous shutouts being thrown from each pitching staff going up until the sixth inning.

But in baseball, it often takes just a few fortunate plays to shift the tide in a team’s favor.

On this night, that shift went in the Dans favor en route to a 15-2 win.

Alabama senior-to-be Walker McCleney broke a five-inning drought of Dans reaching base after being hit by a pitch in the sixth, while Max Jung-Goldberg sent him home from second base two batters later to break the deadlock.

But it was Danville’s monster seventh inning that showcased what the Dans do best as the league’s best-hitting club: scoring runs and capitalizing on opponent mistakes. Four errors and shaky pitching from the Sliders cost them dearly as Danville sent a total of 14 batters to the plate in a 10-run inning.

That type of offensive firepower — in addition to some upstart pitching — is why the Dans are sitting pretty atop the Prospect League at the moment and why head coach Eric Coleman believes they have a shot for a special season.

“It’s a long way to go, but I think that we’re one of the best teams in the league,” Coleman said. “It was a good pitcher who just kept us off balance early … but once we get in people’s bullpens, we’re going to take advantage of it. Putting up a crooked number is always nice.”

The most emphatic of Danville’s 12 hits on the night came from Towson senior-to-be and first baseman Brad Powers, whose grand slam in the eighth inning turned a nine-run lead into 13.

What’s more is that the homer came from a set of unlikely circumstances.

Powers’s bat slipped wildly out of his hands earlier in the at-bat, in addition to him saying that he didn’t think he got a good swing on the run-scoring hit

“I hit it kind of like a nine-iron,” he said.

Nonetheless, one of the league’s best all-around hitters cleared the right field wall for his sixth home run of the year. But Powers credited it more to a calming habit of his, rather than his impressive talent.

“This might sound a little silly, but I chew gum at the plate and it helps me relax a little bit,” Powers said. “Considering that my sweaty hands let go of the bat the pitch before, I was like, ‘Nah, I’m not going to look like an idiot here.’ When I’m relaxed, I see pitches better … and small things like that in baseball can make a big difference.”

Coleman also praised another strong pitching performance from the Danville rotation. Starter Tanner Green and reliever Will Morrison each went four innings and allowed a combined seven hits while Cypress College junior-to-be Trevor Thompson hurled a hitless ninth inning to seal the deal.

It’s been an impressive week thus far for the Dans’ pitching staff: Danville struck out 20 Terre Haute Rex batters in a home win Tuesday, then notched their first shutout of the summer in the back-half of a doubleheader sweep at the Champion City Kings on Wednesday.

If the pitching form stays and gets anywhere near Danville’s talent at the plate — they’re league leaders in batting average, runs and runs batted in — the Dans are going to be a dangerous team as the end of the summer winds down.

“You never know, it’s still early,” Powers said. “We have everything set up for something special to happen, we’ve just got to make it happen. It’s easy to say that it’s going to happen, but then something bad happens. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing. Staying focused, staying confident and having fun.”

Posted 15 weeks ago

Dans win 8th straight at Danville Stadium

BY CHAD DARE, COMMERCIAL-NEWS
PHOTOS BY SUSAN JOY MCKINNEY, COMMERCIAL-NEWS
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Success didn’t happen right away for Danville Dans center fielder Walker McCleney.

The senior-to-be from the University of Alabama had to endure a 2-for-28 slump in his first 15 games with the Dans, but McCleney’s smile and good-natured attitude never wavered.

McCleney extended his hitting streak to three games with a 2-for-2 performance with two walks and two runs scored during Danville’s 7-2 victory over the Hannibal Hoots before a season-best crowd of 3,827 at Danville Stadium.

“It took me a little while to get into the groove,’’ said McCleney, who has six hits in his last eight at-bats. “I have worked with (coach Jack) Murphy a little bit in the cages and he has helped me a lot.

“Baseball is a game where you fail a lot. You have to keep your head on your shoulder and keep your head up. Every day is a new day.’’

RJ Kuruts, who was the winning pitcher for the Dans on Tuesday night, admitted that the Danville Dans players are really proud of the way that he worked through his early-season slump.

“Seeing what he is doing now is amazing,’’ Kuruts said. “We knew that start wasn’t Walker. Now, we are seeing the Walker that we expected to see all year.’’

Danville Dans manager Eric Coleman echoed the sentiments of his right-handed pitcher.

“We continued to run him out and now, he is swinging a hot bat,’’ Coleman said. “He found his swing and got his confidence back.

“Walker can obviously play really good defense for us and he can run a little bit. It’s good to see him doing well.’’

While McCleney’s confidence might have been tested a little in the first three weeks of the Prospect League season, his swagger never left, especially on Tuesday night as he wore a very large, fake gold chain around his neck.

And after his triple in the eight inning, McCleney showed it off to his teammates in the third-base dugout.

“It’s the chain. You have to be swaggy and confident at the plate,’’ he said.

And where exactly did he get this chain.

“Marcel (Bachelier) came up to me today and said that they got this chain at Spencer’s, and did I want to wear it,’’ McCleney said. “I definitely was going to wear it.

“My neck is turning green. It’s definitely not real, but it is heavy.’’

But, neither the chain nor an early-season hitting slump was going to force McCleney into lowering his head.

“It was tough and it gets into your head a little bit, but you can’t let it get you down,’’ he said. “If it does — you will keep doing poorly. You have to take very day like its a new day.

“Now, you just want to keep putting together good at-bats. That is the main thing for me, I want to have fun and find barrels.’’

Having fun and find barrels are two things that this group of Danville Dans continue to do this season, especially at the friendly confines of Danville Stadium.

Max Jung-Goldberg got the offense going in the first inning. The left-handed leadoff hitter for the Dans drilled a solo home run over the center field fence as part of a four-run first inning for Danville.

“That set the tone,’’ Coleman said. “I think (Jung-Goldberg) is one of the better players in this lead and he did a good job of getting us on the board. When we score first, we are tough to beat.

“He got us lead and we didn’t look back from there.’’

The Dans (15-5) added three more runs — two coming on a single by Ryan Archibald and another on a run-scoring single by Cade Brown.

A four-run lead was more than enough for Kuruts, who struck out five in five-plus innings as he improved to 3-0.

“After that, I knew that I could just attack the zone,’’ Kuruts said. “With our team, you know that they got 4 in the first inning and they are not going to stop there. That really helps a pitching staff’s confidence. We know that we have an offense that can produce runs on any given night.’’

Coleman pointed out that Kuruts also deserves a great deal of credit for holding Hannibal to just one run — a solo home run by Jared Wegner in the sixth inning.

“RJ is just a bulldog,’’ Coleman said. “He competes in the zone and he throws strikes. (Tanner) Green and (Joe) Panella followed him and did the same thing. It was a good team win.’’

Green threw three shutout innings, while Panella allowed one run in the ninth.

The Dans, who own the best record in the Prospect League, are now 9-2 in games at Danville Stadium.

“Our philosophy is that we have to protect our house and we stand behind that,’’ said Kuruts. “And tonight it was a great showing by the fans. We hope to give them more good wins like tonight.’’

McCleney acknowledged the big crowd and the Blackhawks Band with the help of the First Gig Rock-n-Roll Campers played a positive role for the Dans.

“That was cool. It got everyone pumped up,’’ he said. “The loud music from the bad was great and it was fun seeing everyone come out to the ballpark.

“Honestly, it makes you want to play harder. We wanted to put on a good show for them.’’

Posted 16 weeks ago

Successful road trip for Dans

Playing five games in five days on the road was a daunting task for the Danville Dans this past week.

But after a rainout and the team’s first loss in 13 days this past Thursday, Danville finished its journey with three straight victories over the West Virginia.

The last of those coming on Sunday as six pitchers combined to strike out 12 Miners in the Dans 8-1 triumph before 555 at Epling Field.

Left-hander starter Dawson Sweatt, a redshirt freshman-to-be from Auburn, went the first four innings for Danville. He allowed no runs on three hits, while walking four and striking out five.

He was followed by five relievers — each of whom went one inning.

Blake Malatestinic, a junior-to-be from Eastern Illinois, was credited with the victory after a scoreless inning of relief in the fifth. Also coming up with a scoreless inning were Stone Parker, Jackson Kelley and Ryan Patel.

Trevor Thompson, who did surrender Danville’s only run, and Patel each struck out a pair of West Virginia batters, while the other three each had a single strikeout in their inning.

The Dans got all the offense they would need in the first inning on a two-run homer by Aidan Malm, a senior-to-be from Long Beach State. It was Malm’s second homer this season.

Danville added three more runs in the second, a single tally in the fourth and two runs in the sixth.

One of the bright spots for the Dans was center fielder Walker McCleney, who ended the trip with a pair of 2-hit games against West Virginia. The senior-to-be from the University of Alabama has also scored six runs in his last two contests.

The Dans return to Danville Stadium tonight for a 6:30 p.m. contest against the Hannibal Hoots, who are managed by Danville Area Community College coach Clayton Hicks.

Posted 16 weeks ago

Dans score franchise record 28 runs to beat Aviators

Story By Chad Dare | Photos by  Deb Edwards | Commercial-News

No doubt about it, the Danville Dans have had the best offense during the first two weeks of the Prospect League season.

On Tuesday night, Danville flexed its muscles a little bit against the Lafayette Aviators with a 28-5 triumph before 1,762 at Danville Stadium.

And it was a record-setting night for the Dans (7-4).

The 28 runs is both a Dans record during the 11-year Prospect League era, but it’s also an all-time franchise record for the Dans.

The previous best in the Prospect League era was 19 against the Springfield Sliders on July 3, 2012.

Before Tuesday, the franchise record for the Dans was 21, set on July 9, 2005 against the Springfield Rifles and again on Aug. 6, 2007 against the DuPage Dragons.

“I cannot ever remember being a part of a team that scored 28 runs,” said Danville first baseman Brad Powers, who went 2-for-4 with five RBIs. “Maybe in little league.”

The other record that Danville set on Tuesday night was its 11-run fourth inning. No Danville team had ever scored double-digits in an inning during the 11-year history of the Prospect League.

But, the Dans did fall short of the franchise record, which is 16 set in the Aug. 6, 2007 game against the DuPage Dragons in Lisle.

“I can reflect on those at the end of the summer. I get enough gratification just getting the win over Brent (McNeil),” said Danville manager Eric Coleman, referring to the Lafayette manager, who was his pitching coach for Coleman and the Dans back in 2014. “They have a really good team over there and we are going to have some fun battles all summer with them.”

On Tuesday, that enjoyment was definitely one-sided.

Danville actually scored in every inning but the fifth, and the Dans had a four-run first, the 11-run fourth and a eight-run eighth inning.

“When you are able to put up crooked numbers in three innings … you have a pretty good chance of winning,” said Coleman. “Our guys came in with the right mindset after a day off. This is my sixth season, and teams have not always handled that off day very well.

"Today, we came back to work and put up 28 runs.”

And Coleman credited hitting coach Jack Murphy for his work with the Danville Dans batters, who lead the league in average (.306), runs (109), hits (115), homers (14), RBIs (89) and walks (71).

One of the most important of those statistics could be the walks as Danville drew 14 base on balls on Tuesday night and the Dans turned them into 11 runs.

“We are just relaxed at the plate,” said Powers, who drew three of the walks. “We are pretty good hitters and that’s all about discipline. We are just looking for a good pitch to hit.

"That’s what I’m doing and that’s what a lot of our hitters are doing right now. It’s just good disciplined hitting.”

But, what was most impressive about that is that Danville drew five of those walks after building its double-digit lead instead of swinging for the fences.

“We have had the right approach,” Coleman said. “There is a reason why we lead the league in hitting. Coach Murphy has done a great job with our hitters, but we need to keep getting better.”

Powers capped Danville’s 11-run fourth inning with the team’s first grand slam of the summer. The blast came after he struck out swinging for the second out in the inning.

“I was just a little out in front of everything on that first at-bat,” he said. “On my next at-bat, I tried to take a better approach, but I was still a little ahead. I got down 0-2 and then I finally sat back and got a hold of one.”

Those final four runs were part of the 10 runs that Danville scored with two outs in the inning and all 11 runs were unearned. It was a definitely avalanche of runs against the Aviators.

“Hopefully, we can keep it going,” Powers said. “It’s just as easy to get on the wrong side of an avalanche and have no one hitting.

"We just need to keep taking good approaches to the plate and doing our jobs.”

The offense wasn’t the only impressive part of the game for the Dans.

Starter RJ Kuruts improved to 2-0 as he went five innings, allowing five hits, one run — it was unearned — while walking one and striking out four.

Additionally, Danville got two shutout innings of relief from Jesse Wainscott and Kohl Simas, making his Danville debut, struck out four in 1.1 innings.

Posted 18 weeks ago

Dans use 'small ball' to beat CornBelters

Story and photos by the amazing Chad Dare 

Chicks dig the long ball.

At least that’s what a popular shoe company told us 20 years ago with their advertising campaign.

This summer, the home run has been a big part of the Danville Dans offensive game plan as they lead the league in dingers (12), RBIs (65) and run scored (81).

But on Sunday afternoon, Danville needed to play a little ‘small-ball’ to pull out a 3-2 victory over the Normal CornBelters before 544 at Danville Stadium.

“This was a lot different than last night. But you never know in the Prospect League or baseball, in general,’’ said Danville manager Eric Coleman, referring to the Dans 18-6 triumph on Saturday night against the Quincy Gems. “Today, we only get three runs and three hits, but it’s a good win and we will take it.’’

Coleman acknowledged that his squad might have been a little sluggish after an offensive firework display on Saturday night.

But some of that can also be attributed to the opponent. Normal used six different pitchers in the nine-inning contest, with no pitcher going more than two innings.

“It was kind of like a fall ball game where they kept rotating pitchers and they were keeping us off-balanced,’’ Coleman said. “We found a way to win. We scratched and we clawed to get those three runs. Using a safety squeeze to tie the game and then a sacrifice fly to get the winning run home.’’

Both of those came in the seventh inning for Danville.

Third baseman Jalen Jones got things started for the Dans with a double to left-field. That was the team’s only extra-base hit on the contest. He then stole third and after a one-out walk to Marcel Bachelier, Danville went into its playbook to tie the game at 2-2.

Center fielder Walker McCleney, who didn’t have an RBI in his first 24 at-bats, laid down a near perfect safety squeeze. Normal left-handed pitcher Jake Lotz fielded the bunt and tried to get Jones at the plate, but catcher Matt Richards couldn’t hold onto the ball and make the tag.

“This turned into a game where we had to lay down some bunts and manufacture runs,’’ said McCleney, a senior-to-be from Alabama. “When the pitchers for both teams are throwing well and both teams are playing good defense — it only takes a few runs to win a game.’’

But, what about the long ball?

“We are not trying to hit home runs,’’ said McCleney, whose team won its first game of the summer without hitting a homer on Sunday. “We are just putting good swings on the ball and they are flying out.

“But, when that doesn’t happen, like today, you have to know how to execute the small-ball game to get the offense going.’’

After McCleney tied the game, Andrew Meggs, an infielder from Creighton making his Danville Dans debut, followed with a fly ball to left field that just barely scored Santiano Rivera from third base.

According to home plate umpire Chris King, Rivera was able to get his hand on home plate before Richards applied the tag.

That ruling didn’t sit well with the CornBelters. Both Richards and first baseman Canyon McWilliams were ejected from the game.

“In that seventh inning, we just used our approach of get them on, get them over and get them in,’’ Coleman said. “It worked today.

“You have to be able to adapt in this game. Today, we had to play ‘small ball’ and (Saturday) we were more physical with 18 runs on 14 hits.’’

The other part of that winning equation for the Dans was an excellent pitching performance from starter Blake Malatestinic along with reliever Jackson Kelley, who was also making his Danville Dans debut.

Malatestinic went six innings, allowing just two runs on five hits, while walking two and striking out two.

Kelley followed with three shutout and hitless innings, while he walked two and also struck out two. Kelley was credited with the victory to improve to 1-0.

Danville, which has won its last two games, ended the week with a 3-3 record and the Dans are 6-4, just 1.5 games behind the Champion City Kings and the Lafayette Aviators for first place in the Prospect League’s East Division.

“We don’t ever want to have a losing week,’’ said Coleman. “We bounced back from a couple of tough losses to Lafayette and we get another chance against them on Tuesday.’’

Posted 18 weeks ago

Bachelier's first homer leads Danville past Quincy

BY CHAD DARE, COMMERCIAL-NEWS
PHOTO BY GREG FLINT, COMMERCIAL-NEWS

A pair of one-run losses on the road can really hurt a team’s morale.

But all of that it was quickly erased for the Danville Dans on Saturday night.

With a crowd of 2,413 at Danville Stadium for Military Appreciation Night and a fireworks show following the contest, the Dans got the festivities started early and often with an 18-6 triumph over the Quincy Gems.

“This is good for everyone,” said Danville right-fielder Marcel Bachelier, who went 2-for-5 with an RBI double in the first inning and a two-run homer in the third. “Everyone just loosens up and it helps you to remember that you are supposed to have fun with this game.

"This was a good night for the Danville Dans.”

And Danville manager Eric Coleman pointed out, that it’s always good for the team to have a good game like Saturday night when there is a big crowd in the stands.

“You always want to play well in front of your home crowd — they back us and support us all summer,” Coleman said. “We need them as much as we need our teammates.

"They are like our 10th man.”

Both Bachelier and Coleman acknowledged that Saturday’s big win helped offset some of the disappointment of back-to-back 1-run losses on the road against the first-place Lafayette Aviators on Thursday (7-6) and Friday (9-8 in 11 innings).

“We have been hitting the ball and we have been playing good baseball,” Bachelier said. “But, we just let those last two games on the road get away for us. It’s not like we have been playing terrible.”

But, in both of those losses, Lafayette overcame deficits with crooked-run innings and Danville failed to answer after either inning.

On Saturday, Quincy was able to score six runs in four innings and the only crooked-number inning for the Gems, three runs in third, was followed by a six-run inning for the Dans, which was highlighted by Bachelieer’s opposite-field homer.

“I thought our guys showed character with the way that we bounced back after those last two losses to Lafayette,” Coleman said. “And I was really proud of our guys because every time that Quincy scored, we came back and scored. We kept building upon our lead.”

Bachelier, who came into Saturday’s game with no RBIs in his first four games with the Dans, quickly changed that stat with an opposite-field double off the left-field fence to score Santino Rivera, capping a four-run first inning for Danville.

“I started to job, because I didn’t see the ball at first,” said Bachelier admitting that he thought it was a home run. “All of the sudden, I saw it kick back and I quickly realized that it hadn’t gone out.”

He took care of that in his next at-bat. This time, Bachelier cleared the left-field fence for his first homer of the summer.

So, why did both extra-base hits go to the opposite field?

“They were both outside and low,” he said. “I love that. I just hit it hard both times and the second one went over the fence.”

So far this season, the Dans have hit homers in six of nine contests and Danville is now 5-1 when it homers.

“I knew we were going to be more physical this summer,” said Coleman, who is known for his running game. “We are still going to get our running game tonight, but we are being aggressive at the plate and we are hunting fastballs.

"Our philosophy is still to get them on, get them over and get them in, but if we can do it a few times with the home run, that’s works just as well.”

The Dans will attempt to conclude the week with a .500 record with a win today at home against the Normal CornBelters.

“Our goal is to win every week,” Coleman said. “We can’t do that this week, but finishing at .500 is better than losing the week.”

Normal, which is in its first season of the Prospect League, is making its only regular-season appearance at Danville Stadium today. First pitch between the CornBelters and the Dans is set for 4:30 p.m.

Both teams will sending right-handers from Eastern Illinois University to the mound this afternoon. Normal is going with Tyler Jones, who is 0-0 with a 5.78 ERA in one start; while Danville will counter with Blake Malatestinic, who is 0-2 with an 8.52 ERA in two starts this summer.

Both Jones and Malatestinic played this past spring for the Panthers, who are under the direction of former Danville standout Jason Anderson.

Posted 19 weeks ago

Danville Dan’s Cade Brown goes 3-for-4 with 2 homers in batting debut

BY CHAD DARE, COMMERCIAL NEWS
PHOTO BY DEB EDWARDS

Cade Brown was a highly successful two-way player in high school days at Cathedral Catholic in San Diego, Calif.

But when the 6-foot-5, 240-pounder took the field this spring for the University of San Diego Torreros it was as a pitcher only.

Brown made 19 appearances for USD, including three starts. He was 2-1 with a 7.22 ERA.

So when San Diego sent Brown to Danville this summer, the Torreros coaching staff was hoping that he could get time as both a pitcher and a hitter.

After two scoreless relief appearances this summer, Brown got his first opportunity to swing the wooden bats on Wednesday night and boy, did he swing the bat.

Brown went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs as the Danville Dans rallied from 3-0 deficit to beat the Lafayette Aviators 6-3 before an announced crowd of 386 at Danville Stadium.

“I didn’t hit much this spring, so I came in here with a clear mind and trying to focus on doing well at the dish as well as on the mound,” Brown said. “I guess it paid off tonight. I’m excited to keep doing both for the rest of the summer.”

Coleman said that’s exactly what his school wants him to do this summer.

“They want him to hit and we will give him that opportunity,” Coleman said. “He is also going to get the start on Sunday, but we need to keep getting that bat in the lineup.

"We needed a spark tonight and he provided it.”

Brown admitted that he didn’t expect to hit one homer, let alone two.

“I was just kicking off the rust and things went the way that they did — better than I expected,” he said. “We were down three runs and I just knew that I had to drive in a run. I didn’t get most of the barrel on it, but I knew for the ball flight that it had a chance.”

His first home run allowed Danville to close the deficit with Lafayette to 3-2 in the sixth inning. His second homer in the eighth inning, which was blasted deep into the night, helped extend the team’s lead.

The Dans (4-2) actually took the lead with a two-run seventh inning.

Louisiana State University freshman-to-be Wes Toups delivered the go-ahead hit for Danville with a two-run double into the large right-center field gap, as Lafayette’s center fielder Mason Sykes was playing Toups to hit the opposite way with runners on second and third.

“I normally try to go away with a lot of pitches,” Toups said. “But in that situation, I’m trying to get the runner in from third base. So, I’m looking to put the barrel on the ball and pull it.

"I got a good pitch to hit and I didn’t miss it.”

After being held scoreless in the first five innings, Danville came back to win with two runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

“Our pitchers did a great job of holding them there at three runs,” Toups said. “We were hitting the ball hard the whole game. It just seemed like our offense turned on there late in game — at the right time.”

Danville starter R.J. Kuruts didn’t figure into the decision as he allowed three runs — only two were earned — in sixth innings.

Tanner Green picked up the victory with two shutout innings of relief, while Ryan Patel earned his first save with a scoreless ninth.

The Dans will play the Aviators again tonight and Friday, but those games will be at Loeb Stadium in Lafayette.

Posted 19 weeks ago

Dans continue to adjust in defeat

By JIM COTTER, Commercial-News (Be sure to subscribe!) 
Photos by Deb Edwards

The journey through the summer collegiate baseball season can be a long and arduous process.

Just ask Danville Dans head coach Eric Coleman, who is beginning his sixth season as manager of the club.

The Lafayette Aviators, who have sprinted to a 5-0 start to the 2019 Prospect League season, defeated the Dans 6-2 on Monday evening at Danville Stadium to remain perfect on the young season.

The Dans, who have a host of new players this season from across the country, are still trying to figure things out with their new teammates, and according to Coleman, sometimes that takes some adjusting.

“We have a lot of new players, but some of the places that we are getting these players from are very familiar. For example, the University of San Diego has been good for us through the past few seasons, and we once again have a couple players from that school,” Coleman said about the influx of new players and how the transition is from year to year.

One of those players from San Diego, Max Jung Goldberg, has adapted well since his arrival in Danville, hitting a robust .474 (9-19) so far in the first five games of the season. Goldberg collected three hits for the Dans on Tuesday night, and is enjoying his time with the Dans so far this season.

“I’m just trying to get better and prepare for the fall for when I return for my second year at the University of San Diego. I really enjoy the crowds here (at Danville Stadium) and it’s been a great atmosphere thus far,” Goldberg said about his initial impression of Danville and the fans.

Spotty defense was the main culprit that led to the Dans’ downfall against Lafayette, as three errors opened the door to a quick 6-0 deficit after the top half of the fourth inning.

It wasn’t until the bottom half of the fourth before the Dans were able to dent the scoreboard, as they scored a pair of runs, but left the bases loaded to cut the Aviators’ lead further.

“We left a lot of runners on base tonight, and we need to learn to play catch, because our defense let us down with the three errors. Some positives to take away from the game, however, were that we had runners on in seven of the nine innings, and had seven hits on the night, but it’s all about making a quick turnaround and coming back tomorrow night to play these guys again,” Coleman added regarding the miscues on defense, and the runners left on base.

Blake Malatestinic started the game and went four innings, giving up all six runs, four of which were earned. Reliever Kody Reeser came in to throw five shutout innings in relief to stop the bleeding, but the offense couldn’t hold up their end of the deal and the Aviators closed the game out to notch the win.

“I thought Kody (Reeser) did a good job of keeping us in the ball game, but we couldn’t take advantage of it. They (Lafayette) are a good team, and we’ll bounce back and go at them again tomorrow night,” Coleman said about his reliever and his performance for keeping the Dans in the game.

Malatestinic suffered the loss for the Dans (3-2), who lost for the first time in the past three games. Brendan Reid got the win for Lafayette, who were led on offense by Trey Sweeney, who went 3-4 at the plate, including a double, a pair of runs batted in, and a stolen base.

Posted 19 weeks ago

Craig Keuchel Named Player of the Day

For the second straight day, a Danville Dans player hit two home runs and he earned the Player of the Day honors. Sunday catcher Craig Keuchel, from Conroe, TX, a sophomore at Hill College, went two for five, the two hits, both home runs and driving in five runs and then getting on base once on a hit by a pitch to help lead the Danville Dans to a 15-8 win over the Hannibal Hoots.

The previous day it was teammate shortstop Jalen Jones from McDonough, GA, a freshman at Western Carolina University who it two bombs out of the park.

The Danville Dans lead the Prospect League with seven home runs on the year.

Posted 20 weeks ago

Dans roll past Hoots on road

The Danville Dans hit the road for the first time this season on Saturday and made the most of it.

The Dans had 14 hits as they defeated the Hannibal Hoots 10-5 in a game played at QU Stadium.

Jalen Jones led the way for the Dans with three hits and three RBIs which included two home runs, while Ryan Archibald had two hits and three RBIs, Aidan Malm had two hits and a RBI and Bradford Powers and Steven Kokoski each had two hits.

Dawson Sweatt got the win on the mound for Danville, going four innings with three strikeouts, Ethan McCarty had one strikeout and gave up one hit in two innings and Ryan Patel had five strikeouts in three innings.

Posted 20 weeks ago