Danville splits doubleheader with Terre Haute
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.