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
DANS ON DECK
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)