Danville Dans News

Danville splits doubleheader with Terre Haute

By Chad Dare, Commercial-News 
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Steve Kokoski admitted that the Danville Dans were a little upset after dropping the season-opener, 6-5, to the Terre Haute Rex.

That game was a suspended game from Thursday night because of lightning and finished as part of a doubleheader on Friday night at Danville Stadium.

“We were a little angry because we really wanted to win our first game at home,” he said.

Kokoski and the Dans made sure their second home game ended with a better result thank in part to a 7-run first inning.

Danville achieved a split of the Prospect League doubleheader with an 8-1 victory over Terre Haute.

“Good teams are supposed to respond,” Danville manager Eric Coleman said. “It always helps when you are able to score seven runs in the first inning.”

The Dans had only three hits in the opening frame, but they drew four walks and all four of them came around to score as all three hits produced runs.

It started with a tow-run double to right by Brad Powers, and then Ryan Archibald had a two-run double to deep center field but the biggest blow came from Kokoski, who hammered the team’s first home run — a three-run shot — over the left-field fence, capping the 7-run inning and knocking Rex starter Logan DeWulf from the contest.

“It was a pitch to my liking and I just tried to put a good stroke on it,” said Kokoski, a junior-to-be from St. Leo College in Florida.

That was more than enough offense for Danville right-hander R.J. Kuruts, who gave up just one run in six innings. Kuruts had eight strikeouts and no walks as he improves to 1-0 on the summer.

“R.J. was outstanding,” Coleman said. “We had heard a bunch of good things on him and he delivered tonight.”

Danville got an insurance run in the fourth inning as Wes Toups, an incoming-freshman at LSU, blasted his first collegiate home run to right-center field.

The first game, which was a continuation of the suspended game from Thursday night, started with the Terre Haute Rex holding a 2-0 lead in the third inning.

Terre Haute added two more runs — both unearned — against Danville relief pitcher Kody Reeser. Austin Weiler and Aaron Beck had run-scoring singles in the frame.

The Rex extended their lead to 5-0 on an RBI single from Mitchell Garrity in the fourth inning.

After just two singles in its first four innings, the Dans scored its first run of the 2019 season in the fifth as Wes Toups started the frame with a double to left. He would score the first run on a double by catcher Craig Keuchel.

Danville would load the bases with back-to-back walks to Ryan Archibald and Santino Rivera. Max Goldberg delivered a two-run single as the Dans pulled within 5-3 in the fifth inning.

“Our guys showed a lot of fight,” Coleman said. “We played until the last out. I like what is going on. It was a tough one today. We will bounce back and see what we are made of, it’s still early.”

Terre Haute made it 6-3 with a solo home run by Reed Hjelle in the seventh inning.

Once again, the Dans used the extra-base hit to get two runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Brad Powers got things started with a one-out double to right-center and he scored on a double to left-center by Archibald. Goldberg drove in his third run of the game with another double.

“It was kind of unusual starting a game with a 2-0 deficit,” said Archibald. “We finally got things going offensively in the fifth and seventh innings.

"I think that shows what kind of team we are going to be this season. We kept battling until the end and everyone on this team has that drive in them. We are going to compete for every inning of every game. As coach Coleman says, our goal is to win the week.”

Thanks Commerical-News and Deb Edwards for the great photo. 

Posted 23 weeks ago

Dans, Rex will play 14 innings tonight

BY CHAD DARE, Commercial-News 

Here we go again.

That’s basically what Danville Dans manager Eric Coleman and Terre Haute Rex manager Tyler Wampler said after their Prospect League season opener was suspended in the third inning by lightning that accompanied Thursday’s thunderstorms that moved through the area.

Terre Haute, which scored single runs in the first and second innings, was batting with one out in the third inning when lightning was detected within vicinity of Danville Stadium. According to NCAA and Prospect League rules, play was immediately halted.

The teams attempted to wait out the storm, but each time lightning was detected, that was another 30-minute delay according to rules. Finally after more than 90 minutes, the game was officially suspended. The two teams will finish the season opener, all nine innings, beginning at 6 p.m. tonight at Danville Stadium.

The originally scheduled game for Friday night will now become a seven-inning contest and it will start about 20-30 minutes after the first game — basically creating a doubleheader with 14 innings of baseball.

While this is just the start of the 2019 season, these two teams experienced a very similar situation last year in the Prospect League West Division Playoffs.

“Eric Coleman and I was just talking about that,” said Wampler. “Every time, we play each other, no matter where it is, we have something crazy going on whether it is the weather or extra innings. It’s never dull when we play each other.”

That is probably fitting as these Prospect League rivals play annually for the Branch Rickey Cup.

Coleman, who begins his sixth seasons with Danville, admitted there wasn’t a whole lot to learn about his teams in just two innings.

“It’s so early,” he said. “Blake (Malatestinic) is better than he showed in those first two innings. He just needs to compete a little more in the zone.

"And offensively, we got a little long with our swings. We have to make that adjustment swinging with the wood bats.”

The Rex got its first run of the season as leadoff batter Justin Jenkins drilled a pitch to center field that one-hopped the wall for a triple. Ethan Hunter followed with an RBI groundout and Terre Haute had the lead.

In the second, Terre Haute added another run when Austin Weller scored on a sacrifice fly to center from Jacob Mulcahy.

Danville did get four base runners in the first two innings against Terre Haute starter Clayton Mayfield.

Wes Toups drew a leadoff walk, but two pitches later, he was thrown out trying to steal second. Walker McCleney followed with a walk and Brad Powers had a two-out single to right in the opening frame. The Dans would fail to score as Ryan Archibald struck out swinging.

In the second inning, Max Goldberg reached with a one-out single to left, but he was stranded at first as Jalen Jones and Marcel Bacheller flew out to end the inning


Current score — Terre Haute Rex 2, Danville Dans 0 in third inning

Key player — Terre Haute outfielder Justin Jenkins is 1-for-2 with a triple and a run scored.

Up next — The Rex and Dans will conclude the season opener at 6 p.m. with a seven-inning contest to follow.

Probable starters — Terre Haute: LHP Foster Anshutz (0-0, 0.00 ERA); Danville: RHP R.J. Kuruts (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Posted 23 weeks ago

Dans 2019 Skills Camp Dates

Baseball Skills Camps
It’s Fun & Fundamentals

Imagine the excitement your son or daughter will have with after spending the morning with a professional baseball coaching team. Envision the motivation your little one will gain as he or she spends time with successful college students.

The Dans Baseball Camp features top-notch instruction in hitting, defense, pitching and teamwork. It is ideal for players looking for a well-rounded experience in baseball instructions, including drills, mechanics and strategies.

This training program is designed to improve your player’s skills. You’ll see the results on game day and skills evaluation day.

June 26-27

July 1-3

July 9-10

All sessions run 9 am - 12 noon at Danville Stadium.

Questions about the Danville Dans Baseball Camps?
Email: dansbaseball1@gmail.com or call 217-918-3401.

Click here to download the registration form. 

Posted 25 weeks ago

Welcome Back Assistant Coach Kody Sindelar

Kody Sindelar is returning to Danville as the pitching assistant for the Dans. Sindelar was here during the 2017 season. Sindelar is completing his third season as an assistant coach at Cloud Community College in Concordia, Kansas. He also played ball there two seasons before moving on to Fort Hays State University, helping them earn an NCAA regional bid in 2005. He served as strength and conditioning coach for the Tampa Bay Rays organization for the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Posted 25 weeks ago

Coleman Returns for 6th Season

The Danville Dans are pleased to welcome back Eric Coleman as the field manager for the 2019 season. This will be his sixth season leading the Dans in the Prospect League.

During his tenure in Danville, Coleman’s teams have compiled a 163-135 record, for a .547 winning percentage. Three of his teams made the playoffs, including the 2018 squad that won the West Division Regular Season before falling to eventual league champion Terre Haute one game to two in the playoffs.

True to the Coleman style, the Dans set another Prospect League stolen base record, swiping 164 bases during the 2018 campaign. That passed their 2017 record by one steal. The Dans have led the league in stolen bases in each of Coach Coleman’s five years, and have set a new league record three times, include swiping 136 in 2015.

Helping the Dans reach that mark last season was Zach Huffi ns, a freshman out of Arizona Western College. The speedy centerfielder set a league record with 44 stolen bases. He also had seven triples, one short of tying the record.

Solid pitching has also been a hallmark of Coleman’s squads in Danville. Last season’s staff had an ERA of 3.44, second best in the league. They also had the second-most strikeouts at 524, and allowed the fewest runs and earned runs, at 243 and 187, respectively.

Coleman is no stranger to summer collegiate league baseball. He’s been a coach or assistant coach in the New England Collegiate League, Northwoods League, Coastal Plains League, Texas Collegiate League and Perfect Game Collegiate League for 10 different years. He was named Manager of the Year with the Cooperstown Hawkeyes in 2011. He also had time coaching in the Frontier League with the Midwest Sliders/ Oakland County Cruisers and Joliet Slammers. When not coaching the Dans, Coleman is on staff at High Performance in Torrance, CA. A state-of-the-art sports fitness and training complex, it allows athletes to train every day of the year.

Coleman is glad to be in Danville. In all the other summer leagues I’ve been in, you hear about the reputation and history of the Danville Dans. These past years I learned first-hand that is was all true.

Welcome home Coach!

Posted 25 weeks ago

Dans Ticket Plans Available for Season

Danville Dans baseball returns to Danville Stadium in 2019, with Opening Day coming on May 30 against the Terre Haute Rex. And the Dans have some ticket packages to help fans enjoy the season.

Back again this year is the 30-Ticket Book, with 30 single tickets for the 2019 season. This can be used as a season ticket, using one each game. Or bring friends with you to one or several games all season long. The pre-season price for the 30-Ticket Book is $100, a savings of $80 over the gate value of $180. Once the season starts, the books will still be available for $110.

New this year, the Dans are offering Fun Packs, which include eight tickets good for any game. The Fun Pack also includes $10 in Dan$ Dollar$, which work like gift certificates that can be used to purchase souvenirs, concessions or additional tickets. Fun Packs are available for $45. Fun Packs will only be available pre-season, so get yours today.

Both the 30-Ticket Book and Fun Packs can be purchased online at www.danvilledans.com. If you’d like to make a purchase with cash or check, you can email dansbaseball1@gmail.com.

Gate prices during the season are $6 for adults, and $3 for students K-8th grade. In addition, all Tuesdays during the season are Two-Buck Tuesdays, with tickets just $2. You can also get a $2 soda, hot dog, or Busch Light. And Sundays this year are Silver Sundays, sponsored by Deer Creek Manor and Immanuel Manor. Fans 60 and over can come to our Sunday games (with an earlier start time of 4:30 pm) for just $3.

The Danville Dans are a founding member of the Prospect League, one of the premier college summer leagues in the nation. Baseball players from across America come to Danville to improve their fielding skills and batting with wood bats. The Dans currently have four former players in the majors, with an additional 23 that have worn an MLB uniform.

Fans can find complete details on the team’s Facebook page or website, www.DanvilleDans.com.

Posted 26 weeks ago

Memorable experience overseas for Dans, KU players

BY JAKE SERMERSHEIM sports@dancomnews.com

The chance to travel across the world is an experience that one will not forget any time soon.

The chance to represent your country playing the game you love is a memory that will last a lifetime for any player.

Three Danville Dans, from Kansas University, rejoined the team on Saturday after this experience. Steve Washilewski, Jonah Ulane, and Mateo Zunica are rejoining the Dans after representing team USA in the 2018 World University Baseball Championship in Taiwan.

“Going over there and seeing a different style of baseball was a great experience,” said Ulane. “Being able to represent my country and school is something I will never forget.”

Team USA finished its time in Taiwan with a 3-3 record, making it all the way to the bronze medal game where they lost to Korea 7-4.

“We got to play teams from Russia, Japan, Korea, seeing kids from different backgrounds was pretty cool,” said Washilewski. “As a team, we did really well. It was more of an exuberance. As a team, we did what we could, we wanted to win gold.”

The returning players could very well put a spark in a key part of the season.

In four starts this summer with the Dans, Washilewski was 4-0 with a 1.82 earned run average. Washilewski was fresh off a combined no-hitter and pitcher of the week award leading up to his departure.

“I’m just trying to keep the momentum going from the first part of the season. I have to keep going strong. I need to hit my spots and keep it going strong into the playoffs,” said Washilewski.

In two games in the World University Baseball Championship, Washilewski had an 0-1 record in two starts, with a 5.40 ERA. Despite different results in Taiwan, Washilewski looks to become a productive piece for the Dans again.

Upon arriving back at Danville Stadium, Washilewski discovered he no longer had possession of his Dans belt. He suspected a teammate had taken it.

“Yeah, it was Kobe Kato.”

Kato denies the allegation.

Not only does the Dans starting rotation improve with the arrival of the new players, but the Dans got a piece of the bullpen back. Ulane was a regular out of the bullpen before the Championship. He sported a 1-2 record with a 3.44 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched.

Like Washilewski, he was not in peak form while in Taiwan. He struggled in 5.2 innings with a 9.53 ERA.

“I think going over to Taiwan was a good experience, with my coaches we could talk about what went well in Danville,” said Ulane. “Coming back I have some new things to work on based on my good and bad outings.”

The top of the lineup also receives a productive piece of the order back in Zunica. He held a .271 batting average in 19 games with 16 hits and six RBIs.

Zunica sported a .222 batting average while in Taiwan.

“I thought myself and the guys brought good energy and it was a little taste of what we had to work on in the fall and we will get ready in the spring,” said Zunica.

While three Kansas players left Danville, four came back.

Jared Padgett joined his Kansas teammates in Danville.

Padgett, a right-handed pitcher, did not pitch while in Taiwan. He was recovering from an arm injury but is ready to pitch in Danville and is looking to make an impact.

“I’m just looking to come in and build confidence and throw strikes and get back to where I used to be,” said Padgett. “Hopefully, I do a great job of it.”

The experience was a once in a lifetime trip for these players, but there were varying responses.

“It was a cool experience playing teams from all around the world. It was cool seeing how other countries went about their business before and during a game,” said Zunica “It was a cool culture change from what I am used to seeing.”

While their teammate had a slightly different response.

“It was a ton different. It was cool, a different culture,” said Padgett. “I enjoyed the first two or three days then after that, the food was not anything spectacular. I missed the U S of A for sure, but it was a once in a lifetime trip.”

Unfortunately for the Kansas players, they were unable to play in their first game back against the Springfield Sliders.

Posted 68 weeks ago

Dodd, weather stop Dans

Former Bismarck-Henning standout Dylan Dodd continues to be a thorn in the side of the Danville Dans.

On Thursday night, Dodd was roughed up for eight hits over 5.1 innings, but he didn’t walk a batter and he struck out six while allowing just one unearned run.

And while the left-hander, who is headed for Southeast Missouri State, didn’t figure into the decision, he certainly helped Hannibal snap Danville’s three-game winning streak as the Hoots claimed a 2-1 victory in a game halted in the seventh inning by the weather.

Hannibal second baseman Josh Lane provided all the offense for his team.

In the fourth inning, Lane gave the Hoots a 1-0 lead on a two-out RBI single that scored catcher Sam Nozicka, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning.

Danville (26-20) came back to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the fifth.

Ben Bianco got the inning started when he reached on a error by Hoots third baseman Joe Roscetti.

With two outs in inning, Danville designated hitter Kobe Kato delivered an RBI single to score Bianco. The Dans would loaded the bases when Cade Evans reached on a single, but Dodd got Gavin Dugas to fly out, ending the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Hannibal scored the eventual game-winning run on a two-out, RBI-single by Lane.

Danville right-hander Slate Fuller took the loss for Dans, while Brendan Saak, who came in relief of Dodd in the sixth, earned the victory.

The Dans are off tonight before hosting the Springfield Sliders at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on Poster Night at Danville Stadium.

In other Prospect League news, Danville right-hander Matt Gammon, a sophomore-to-be from Southeaster Illinois, was named the pitcher of the week.

Gammon appeared in two games for Danville, allowing just to hits, walking none and striking out nine. He is 4-0 with a 0.29 EAR in 12 appearances on the mound and he has struck out 32 in 30.2 innings.

Steven Washilewski and Blake Schilleci have also earned Pitcher of the Week honors from the Danville Dans.

Posted 68 weeks ago

Offense lifts Danville Dans past Hoots

Every manager looks good when his team scores double digits.

So far this summer, the Danville Dans are 5-0 when they score 10 or more runs in the Prospect League contest.

The latest offensive explosion came Wednesday night at Clemens Field as Danville parlayed 13 hits into a 13-1 victory over the Hannibal Hoots.

“Yeah, the game is a lot easier when you can get double-digit hits and double-digit runs,” Coleman said. “It also helps when your pitchers only give up one run.”

Danville’s duo of Noah Beason and Will Klein combined to hold Hannibal to that one run on three hits, as Beason went the first six to get the victory, improving to 1-0; while Klein finished off the final three frames to pick up his first save of the summer.

And, while the pitching was important, Danville has won three straight behind an offense that is averaging 9.7 runs per game, 11.0 hits per game — including 4.7 extra-base hits per game.

“The key has been staying consistent at the plate and hunting fastballs,” Coleman said. “It’s the same thing that we’ve been talking about from the first day of the summer.

"These guys are getting locked in and they are doing the things that we fully expected to see from them.”

Leading the way on Wednesday night was second baseman Gavin Dugas, who went 3-for-3 with three runs scored.

Dugas, an incoming freshman this fall at Louisiana State, is six for his last 16 at the plate and he has scored eight runs in the last five games for Dans.

“Gavin is a special player,” said Coleman, noting that Danville was without Dugas for 10 days as he went through the concussion protocol. “I think he’s been one of the best, if not the best player, in this league this year.”

Joining Dugas with multiple hits on Wednesday was designated hitter Kobe Kato, who had three to bring his team-leading batting average up to .351, while catcher Ben Bianco went 2-for-5 as he is 12-of-34 (.353) in his last eight games for Danville.

“We’ve been able to put together a really strong lineup,” Coleman said. “We have guys with speed. We have guys with power. And we just have good offensive guys at the plate.”

With the Quincy Gems sweeping the Terre Haute Rex on Wednesday night, the Danville Dans find themselves just 1.5 games out of first place in the Prospect League’s West Division.

“We can’t get ourselves all wrapped up in those other games,” Coleman said. “We need to take care of the Danville Dans. We have to keep getting better and if we do that, we will have a shot at the playoffs and a shot at the title when it’s all said and done.”

Coleman pointed out that Danville will likely get all three Kansas University players back this weekend from their trip to Asia, representing the United States of America.

Danville will face former Bismarck-Henning standout Dylan Dodd for the fourth time this summer tonight as the Dans and Hoots wrap up their two game series at Clemens Field.

Dodd is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA against Danville. The left-hander has 30 strikeouts and just one walk in 18 innings against the Dans.

Posted 68 weeks ago

Danville Dans rally in 9th inning to beat Rex

The hopes of winning the Prospect League’s West Division title for the Danville Dans could swing greatly over the next four games.

Actually, things swung quite a bit on Friday night, in the first of three matchups between the Dans and the first-place Terre Haute Rex.

Danville overcame a 6-0 deficit, scoring in each of the last four innings including a four-run ninth, as the Dans defeated the Rex 8-6 before 1,068 at Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute.

“This was a big win,’’ said Danville manager Eric Coleman, whose team is now just 2 games behind Terre Haute for the division lead. “We just kept battling and chipping away. I think this game was a great sign of the character that this team has, because they never gave up.

“We always talk about competing for all 27 outs and that’s what we did tonight.’’

The ninth inning rally for the Dans was started by Thursday’s hero Ben Bianco, who drew a leadoff walk and then advance to second on a wild pitch.

Shortstop Trevor Minder drove him home with a single allowing Danville to pull within 6-5.

After a sacrifice bunt by Christian Sanchez and back-to-back walks to Jacob Talamante and Kobe Kato loaded the bases with one out.

From there it was a combination of speed from the Dans and fielding miscues by the Rex allowed Danville to tie the game at 6-6 and take a 7-6 lead. Zach Huffins drove home the first run on an error by Terre Haute shortstop Lorenzo Elion and that was followed by Gavin Dugas getting an RBI on an error from Terre Haute first baseman Jarrett O’Leary.

The Dans capped their four-run inning on an RBI groundout from Damian Pierce.

Terre Haute closer Thomas Waning, who also gave up a game-winning hit on Tuesday to Trevor Minder, was saddled with all four runs — two earned.

“We put the ball in play and we made things happen in the ninth inning,’’ Coleman said.

After a doubleheader on Thursday, including a 12-inning affair against Hannibal, the Dans were extremely limited in their bullpen options.

So, Coleman used a pair of position players for the final three innings.

Cade Evans threw scoreless seventh and Drew Bianco picked up his first collegiate victory with a scoreless eighth and ninth innings, but he needed a little help for those final two outs.

Terre Haute loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but Bianco got Elion to hit into a game-ending double play. It was the second twin killing of the night for the Dans.

“I don’t really want to use positional players on the mound, but these pitching rules have tied our hands,’’ Coleman said. “Both Cade and Drew came in and did a nice job for us.’’

Posted 69 weeks ago