Danville Dans News

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 96 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 97 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 97 weeks ago

Danville splits doubleheader with Terre Haute

By Chad Dare, Commercial-News 
(Be sure to subscribe!

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 97 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 97 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 99 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 99 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 99 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 100 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 142 weeks ago