Danville Dans Baseball

Danville Stadium gets new Watchfire scoreboard and a new playing surface

BY CHAD DARE, Commerical-News Sports Editor 

We all hope we look as good as Danville Stadium when we reach our 70s.

But over the last few seasons, the old ballyard has started showing some signs of age.

The scoreboard, which was at least 25 years old, went out for the final time. It actually outlasted the company that made it.

The playing surface, which is the site for more than 100 games in a year, had a few blemishes on its surface.

So Danville mayor Scott Eisenhauer along the teams that call Danville Stadium home, including the Danville Dans, embarked on a campaign to not only extend the life of the home field for the Dans, Danville Area Community College, Danville High School, Schlarman Academy and Danville Post 210 through this year but for another 70-plus seasons.

“I wasn’t sure that I wanted to see Danterns walking through the Stadium again this summer with poster boards showing the score and inning,’’ Eisenhauer said. “And considering we have a business like Watchfire Signs [Scoreboards] right here in Danville it was just natural that we would reach out to them to design and manufacture the combination scoreboard/message board for the Stadium.’’

Read the complete story at Commerical-News.

Posted 1 day ago

Team Seeking Danterns for 2018 Season

The Danville Dans rely on an enthusiastic, energetic group of interns each summer to make our game day experience enjoyable for our fans.

We affectionately call these talented supporters Danterns! 

Danterns tackle a variety of tasks, such as ticket sales, sponsor relations and game day operations. Internships can also focus on tasks related to your major or career goals, such as marketing, sales, sports management and journalism.

Click here to learn more about the Danterns Program and fill out an application.

Posted 2 weeks ago

New  Team to Join Prospect League in 2019

At a press conference filled with local media members, baseball fans and local baseball legends, the Prospect League and the City of Cape Girardeau announced an expansion franchise for the summer wood-bat circuit will play at Capaha Field beginning with the 2019 season.

Local businessman Anand “Andy” Patel owns the new franchise and has, along with the city, assembled a management group that includes Vice President Jim Limbaugh and General Manager Mark Hogan, who spent 31 years as a college head coach, including 18 at Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau.

Hogan, eager to work on a baseball project in the community, spoke about the new franchise’s excitement and momentum. “Cape is a baseball-loving city; we love our baseball and the fans are well-educated,” he said. “It’s an outstanding league and to be able to help develop a program, it’s super exciting.”

“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to have the experience that I have and to now be able to use it for a project in this community,” Hogan added.

Mayor Harry Rediger welcomed media and fans to the recently-completed SportsPlex for the announcement, as he and City Manager Scott Meyer were primary advocates of working with the Prospect League and its Commissioner, Dennis Bastien, from the early research and planning stages through the announcement of the team.

“Since accepting the Commissioner position a year ago, it has been one of my primary goals to work Cape Girardeau into the fold,” said Bastien. “I have never seen a city or municipal administration take the ball and run with it as Mayor Rediger has.”

“A giant tip of the Prospect League cap to everyone here,” added Bastien. “It’s a great baseball community that fits into our goals with league expansion and this new franchise has high-quality people backing it at many levels.”

Hogan spoke about the work ahead to make the new team a part of the community off the field and to make it competitive on the field.

“I’m looking very forward to helping develop not only the involvement of our new program with the community, but also structuring things like coaching staffs, helping to bring in the right kind of people to lead this program and, obviously, the acquisition of quality players from around the country,” said Hogan. “We have a big job ahead of us, we’re at zero right now but excited to get started.”

The Cape Girardeau franchise will play its home games at city-owned Capaha Field, which also serves as the home ballpark for Southeast Missouri State and several other local programs. It was announced that, prior to the start of Prospect League play in the summer of 2019, several upgrades to the ballpark related to the fan experience and business operations will take place in addition to the recently-completed ballpark updates that included a new artificial turf playing surface, bullpens, scoreboard, video board and fencing.

A campaign to get the community’s input on things like team name, logo, mascot and colors will be launched in the very near future.

“It’s fresh in Cape right now, I have my first speaking engagement with the Lions Club already set up,” Hogan added. “I think I can speak for the community on this, Cape is really going to get around this, I’m sure.”

Posted 2 weeks ago

Baron Championship Rings Partners with Prospect League

The Danville Dans, Prospect League and Baron Rings have entered into a partnership that includes the custom championship ring manufacturer as the “Official Championship Ring of the Prospect League” beginning with the upcoming 2018 season.

Baron Championship Rings is one of North America’s largest producers of championship rings and has been the supplier to many high-level sports organizations and teams across North America, such as MLB, NBA, NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, Team USA and many more.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Baron Rings as the Official Championship Ring of the Prospect League,” said Bruce Rosselli, president of The Prospect League. “Baron sets us apart from other summer leagues in that players see upfront what they can be a part of in winning a championship team ring in the Prospect League and chase for the major award rings as well,” Rosselli added.

“We are very proud to announce an annual Hall Fame Ring, which will be presented to a former Prospect League player who has made significant strides in baseball,” said Dennis Bastien, commissioner of the Prospect League. “The Prospect League has a long list of players who have gone on to do great things in professional baseball and we are excited to begin honoring them in a more concrete way.”

Fans will also be able to purchase fan rings, pendants, and other items produced by Baron in the Prospect League Locker Room, accessible from the league website as well as participating individual team websites.

“It’s an honor to partner with the Prospect League,” said Kevin Kloostra, Manager of Business Development at Baron Championship Rings. “To be able to provide the Prospect League Champions with rings is our pleasure. All the best to everyone competing in 2018! ”

2018 Danville Dans Home Opener, Thursday May 31, against Quincy Gems. Game starts at 6:30 pm.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Marucci becomes Official Bat of the Danville Dans & Prospect League

Marucci Sports announced it has entered into a partnership to become the “Official Bat of the Prospect League,” beginning in the 2018 season.

“This partnership is a special one for us, not only for the opportunity to get our bats in the hands of some of the best prospects in the game, but for personal reasons as well,” said Justin Cryer, College Sales Rep for Marucci. “Several Marucci employees, including myself, are Prospect League alums, so we know firsthand how instrumental the league was to us as players, but also in our career development.” Cryer played for the Danville Dans in 2005. 

“On behalf of the Prospect League board, we are extremely excited for this partnership with Marucci,” said Bruce Rosselli, Prospect League president. "As the Official Bat of The Prospect League, our players will have the opportunity to use the bat chosen by more Big Leaguers than any other to hone their batting skills over the summer to prepare them for the next level, which we feel sets us apart from other leagues.”

The Prospect League is an elite collegiate wood bat summer baseball league with 11 teams competing in a six-state region: Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Opening Day for the 2018 Prospect League is Wednesday, May 30, and marks the beginning of the 10th season for the collegiate summer league. For more information, visit ProspectLeague.com.

Posted 2 weeks ago
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By CHAD DARE cdare@dancomnews.com

Developing and refining your baseball skills is one of the main goals of the Prospect League season.

On Wednesday night, the Danville Dans not only made some progress as a team in a few areas, and right-handed starter Dustin Wilson showed his experiments with his pitching delivery are also moving forward.

Wilson went six innings, allowing four runs — only three earned — while striking out six and walking one to improve to 2-0 on the summer as the Dans defeated the Springfield Sliders 6-4 before 968 at Danville Stadium.

“I really wanted to go long, but I couldn’t do it with the pitch count,’’ said Wilson, who finished with 90 pitches — 59 of those were strikes. “I want to go out there and eat innings for my team.’’

Danville manager Eric Coleman called it a bulldog performance by Wilson, a senior-to-be from Eastern Illinois University.

“Really, his only mistake was one bad pitch and that’s baseball,’’ Coleman said. “He sped up the guys bat with a changeup.

“He will live and learn from that.’’

After being staked to a 6-1 lead with 3 runs in the first and second innings, Wilson was in cruise control until the fifth. With one out and two runners on base, Hanz Harker of the Sliders drilled a 3-run homer to right field, pulling Springfield to within 6-4.

“We still kept the lead and that was the main thing,’’ Coleman said.

Wilson, who looked a little differently on the mound during Wednesday’s game, finished the fifth with a pair of fly outs and he ended his outing with three straight strikeouts.

“I’ve been working on some stuff to find my rhythm and find a way to execute pitches consistently,’’ said Wilson, who featured a slight hesitation in his windup. “That’s the main thing that I’ve changed. It’s helping get my body in rhythm, and timing is super important.’’

That was never more evident than the pitch to Harker in the fifth.

“I was a little behind on that pitch and it turned into a 3-run homer,’’ he said.

Danville closer Jonah Ulane got the final four outs to record his fourth save of the summer, but it wasn’t without a little intrigue.

Ulane came into the contest with two outs in the eighth after the Sliders had loaded the bases against Danville reliever Clayton Slifer.

“It’s a stressful situation, but I have to pick Slifer up,’’ said Ulane, who got Springfield’s Ryan Fish to line out to shortstop Tucker Cascadden to end the inning.

While Ulane cleaned up a situation in the eighth, he created another one for himself in the ninth with a two-out walk and a double to right field. With the tying run standing on second base, the sophomore-to-be from Kansas struck out Springfield’s Troy Wehde to secure the victory.

“I just wanted to help the team get a win,’’ Ulane said. “I feel like I’m thriving in that role of being the closer.’’

Coleman admitted he followed a similar game plan to that of Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts with bringing Ulane into the game in the eighth inning.

“He’s our closer and it was an opportunity for a four-out save,’’ he said. “I’ve seen the Dodgers do that with (Kenley) Jansen and I have the utmost faith in him.’’

Wednesday’s game also showed improvement for the Danville Dans on the offensive side.

After missing numerous opportunities in a 7-3 loss to the Sliders in a game that was delayed for more than 2 hours because of the weather, the Dans came out on Wednesday night with a little better execution offensively.

Michael Rothmund’s RBI-double to center, which was just a few feet short of a 3-run homer, got things started. He scored one batter later on a two-run single from Mason Templet.

“I was seeing the ball really well from the start,’’ said Rothmund, who was 3-for-4 in the contest. “I saw that he (Hunter Hart) couldn’t get his offspeed over the plate for strikes, so I was sitting on the fastball the majority of the night.’’

Chris Colarossi delivered a two-run single in the second inning and Jim Govern capped the scoring for Danville with a sacrifice fly to right.

“It was better, but we still missed opportunities,’’ said Coleman, whose team was 4-of-7 at the plate with runners in scoring position. “We got six runs in the first two innings, but we can’t be satisfied. We need to keep plugging away. Six runs in this league is not always going to be enough.

“Fortunately, we had good enough pitching tonight and six runs proved to be enough.’’

Danville was without the services of four players on Wednesday night. Utility player Itchy Burts and outfielder Logan Carey were out with hand injuries, catcher Mason Doolittle was ill and utility play Cody Maloon was out of town.

Ironically, three former St. Joseph-Ogden players all pitched in Wednesday’s game.

Springfield’s starter was Hunter Hart, who took the loss, while he was relieved by Austin Whitlock, who threw two shutout innings, and the third former Spartan was Danville reliever Clayton Slifer, who got two outs in the eighth.

Posted 43 weeks ago