Bench-clearing brawl at Dans Game
Temperatures were already high on a hot, muggy night at Danville Stadium.
But, things got really hot in the fourth inning as both Danville manager Eric Coleman and Quincy manager Rick Fraire ignited a bench-clearing brawl.
Quincy, which scored 13 runs in the first two innings, held on for 13-8 victory over Danville in front of 478 fans on Bark in the Park 2.0 Night.
“It was one of those things that happen in baseball,’’ said Coleman of brawl. “It’s guys being competitive.’’
It started when Danville reliever Nicola Mislinski hit back-to-back guys to start the fourth inning. That prompted home plate umpire Lance Walsh to issue warnings to both teams.
“I came out of the dugout to ask a simple question, ‘why are you warning both teams?’,” Coleman said. “Their guy (Riley Pittman) start chirping at me and Rick comes charging down the line at me. He got up into my face and I wasn’t going to take that.’’
After few chest bumps between the two managers, the action escalated to pushing, shoving and a few punches that didn’t land as base umpire Augie Farwig attempted to separate the managers. Both teams came out of their dugouts, as Quincy assistant coach Matt Crook, a former standout at DACC, held back Pittman.
Once the dust had settled, both Coleman and Fraire, who was an assistant coach with the Dans in 2013, were ejected along with Pittman.
“We have each other’s backs. We’re a family,’’ Coleman said.
Unfortunately for Danville, the damage had already been done.
Quincy sent 22 batters to the plate in the first two innings against Danville starter Stewart Currie. The Gems scored 13 runs on 12 hits, including a pair of 3-run homers. Jimmy Huber’s blast capped the six-run first inning and Bailey Montgomery’s homer was part of a seven-run second.
“It was just two bad innings and with our pitch count rules we had to leave (Currie) out there,’’ Coleman said. “I hated to do it, but that’s baseball.’’
Mislinski and Cody Hawthorne actually combined for seven shutout innings, holding the Gems to just three hits during that stretch.
“I thought our guys that came in after Currie did a great job,’’ Coleman said. “We fought back, putting eight runs up and this is another night of double-digit hits.’’
After trailing by as much as 11 runs (13-2), the Dans nearly got the tying run to the plate in the ninth as they left the bases loaded. The comeback started in the bottom of the fourth with a line-drive solo homer to left by Blake Paugh.
“They came out and hit the ball really well,’’ Paugh said. “They basically ambushed us, but we hung in there and fought til the end.’’
The home run was the seventh this summer for Paugh and his second in as many nights.
“I’m seeing the ball pretty well,’’ he said. “I just have to keep putting good swings on good pitches.’’
Danville had double-digit hits for the third straight game and four of their last five.
“Offensively, we are starting to do the things we need to do,’’ Coleman said. “This was just one of those nights where we didn’t pitch it well.’’
Danville is back at home tonight with a 6:30 p.m. contest against the Terre Haute Rex.
Dans 7Gems 5
QUINCY — Trevor Talpas pitched 1.1 innings of shutout relief to pick up his first win this summer for the Dans.
Johnny Ray got the final four outs to pick up his second save.
Offensively, Kobe Kato and Trevor Minder, batting first and second, each finished with two hits as did Jacob Talamante, out of the No. 9 hole.
Gavin Dugas, who had missed 10 games going through the concussion protocol, went 1-for-5 with an RBI in his return.
Blake Paugh blasted his sixth home run of the season.
DANS ON DECK
Final score — Quincy Gems 13, Danville Dans 8
Key players — Shortstop Jimmy Huber went 3-for-6 with 5 RBIs for the Gems.