Dans Comeback Win Is A Butter-Burger Bash

June 13, 2021

Danville staring pitcher Hayden Birdsong (Eastern Illinois) found himself in unfamiliar territory Sunday night. In his first three starts, he was 2-0, giving up just five earned runs in 15 innings while striking out 21.

Sunday against the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp, he allowed six earned runs in just 2.1 innings. But despite being down 6-1, the Dans didn’t give up.

They scored three in the 5th on RBI double by Johnathon Thomas (Houston) and RBI singles by Keenan Taylor (Butler) and Danny Becerra (Towson).

The Dans bullpen of Kade Snell (Auburn), Jaxson Forrester (Mississippi State) and Jake Leger (Iowa Western CC) held the Pistol Shrimp scoreless the rest of the game to bring up the bottom of the 9th.

After Dustin Allen (San Diego) walks, Cooper McMurray (Kansas) hits a pinch-hit 2-run bomb over the right field fence to tie the game. Then with two outs, Taylor advances to first on a hit-by-pitch. He then comes around to score on a Tony Castonguay (Kansas) double for the 7-6 final.

The Dans are back in action Tuesday against Alton River Dragons. Two-Buck Tuesday’s first pitch is 6:30 pm.

Tough Night For Dans

June 4, 2021

The Danville Dans tried to regain first place in the Wabash River Division on Friday against the Lafayette Aviators.

But the Dans could not keep up as they lost 10-6 to the Aviators at Loeb Stadium.

Ben Higgins had two hits with a home run and two RBIs for Danville, while Keenan Taylor had two hits and a RBI, Johnathon Thomas and Tony Castonguay each had one RBI and Jason Ali had two hits.

Jackson Nichols took the loss for the Dans, getting four strikeouts and giving up seven runs on eight hits in four innings. Nick Constantine had three strikeouts in four innings of relief.

The Dans have lost three in a row and will try to break that streak on Saturday against the Aviators at 6:30 p.m. at Danville Stadium. The same two teams will face each other again on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

Danville Dans News

Ten-run seventh carries Danville past Springfield

BY BRIAR NAPIER sports@dancomnews.com

Friday night’s Prospect League matchup between the Danville Dans and the Springfield Sliders turned into a test of who was going to blink first.

Both pitching rotations were dealing their way around every hitter, out of every jam and through a plethora of other situations entering the latter stages of the game, with simultaneous shutouts being thrown from each pitching staff going up until the sixth inning.

But in baseball, it often takes just a few fortunate plays to shift the tide in a team’s favor.

On this night, that shift went in the Dans favor en route to a 15-2 win.

Alabama senior-to-be Walker McCleney broke a five-inning drought of Dans reaching base after being hit by a pitch in the sixth, while Max Jung-Goldberg sent him home from second base two batters later to break the deadlock.

But it was Danville’s monster seventh inning that showcased what the Dans do best as the league’s best-hitting club: scoring runs and capitalizing on opponent mistakes. Four errors and shaky pitching from the Sliders cost them dearly as Danville sent a total of 14 batters to the plate in a 10-run inning.

That type of offensive firepower — in addition to some upstart pitching — is why the Dans are sitting pretty atop the Prospect League at the moment and why head coach Eric Coleman believes they have a shot for a special season.

“It’s a long way to go, but I think that we’re one of the best teams in the league,” Coleman said. “It was a good pitcher who just kept us off balance early … but once we get in people’s bullpens, we’re going to take advantage of it. Putting up a crooked number is always nice.”

The most emphatic of Danville’s 12 hits on the night came from Towson senior-to-be and first baseman Brad Powers, whose grand slam in the eighth inning turned a nine-run lead into 13.

What’s more is that the homer came from a set of unlikely circumstances.

Powers’s bat slipped wildly out of his hands earlier in the at-bat, in addition to him saying that he didn’t think he got a good swing on the run-scoring hit

“I hit it kind of like a nine-iron,” he said.

Nonetheless, one of the league’s best all-around hitters cleared the right field wall for his sixth home run of the year. But Powers credited it more to a calming habit of his, rather than his impressive talent.

“This might sound a little silly, but I chew gum at the plate and it helps me relax a little bit,” Powers said. “Considering that my sweaty hands let go of the bat the pitch before, I was like, ‘Nah, I’m not going to look like an idiot here.’ When I’m relaxed, I see pitches better … and small things like that in baseball can make a big difference.”

Coleman also praised another strong pitching performance from the Danville rotation. Starter Tanner Green and reliever Will Morrison each went four innings and allowed a combined seven hits while Cypress College junior-to-be Trevor Thompson hurled a hitless ninth inning to seal the deal.

It’s been an impressive week thus far for the Dans’ pitching staff: Danville struck out 20 Terre Haute Rex batters in a home win Tuesday, then notched their first shutout of the summer in the back-half of a doubleheader sweep at the Champion City Kings on Wednesday.

If the pitching form stays and gets anywhere near Danville’s talent at the plate — they’re league leaders in batting average, runs and runs batted in — the Dans are going to be a dangerous team as the end of the summer winds down.

“You never know, it’s still early,” Powers said. “We have everything set up for something special to happen, we’ve just got to make it happen. It’s easy to say that it’s going to happen, but then something bad happens. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing. Staying focused, staying confident and having fun.”

Posted 107 weeks ago