Successful road trip for Dans
Playing five games in five days on the road was a daunting task for the Danville Dans this past week.
But after a rainout and the team’s first loss in 13 days this past Thursday, Danville finished its journey with three straight victories over the West Virginia.
The last of those coming on Sunday as six pitchers combined to strike out 12 Miners in the Dans 8-1 triumph before 555 at Epling Field.
Left-hander starter Dawson Sweatt, a redshirt freshman-to-be from Auburn, went the first four innings for Danville. He allowed no runs on three hits, while walking four and striking out five.
He was followed by five relievers — each of whom went one inning.
Blake Malatestinic, a junior-to-be from Eastern Illinois, was credited with the victory after a scoreless inning of relief in the fifth. Also coming up with a scoreless inning were Stone Parker, Jackson Kelley and Ryan Patel.
Trevor Thompson, who did surrender Danville’s only run, and Patel each struck out a pair of West Virginia batters, while the other three each had a single strikeout in their inning.
The Dans got all the offense they would need in the first inning on a two-run homer by Aidan Malm, a senior-to-be from Long Beach State. It was Malm’s second homer this season.
Danville added three more runs in the second, a single tally in the fourth and two runs in the sixth.
One of the bright spots for the Dans was center fielder Walker McCleney, who ended the trip with a pair of 2-hit games against West Virginia. The senior-to-be from the University of Alabama has also scored six runs in his last two contests.
The Dans return to Danville Stadium tonight for a 6:30 p.m. contest against the Hannibal Hoots, who are managed by Danville Area Community College coach Clayton Hicks.