The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

August 2, 2013

Simoneaux drives Dans past Gems

Danville's 40th victory equals the Prospect League record.

DANVILLE — Striking out in your first at-bat can be the start of a very bad night.

For Danville Dans first baseman Chet Simoneaux, that kind of a start on Thursday night was no big deal.

In his final three plate appearances against the Quincy Gems, Simoneaux had three hits, including the game-winning two-run triple in the seventh inning as the Danville Dans equaled a Prospect League record for wins in a season (40) with a 5-2 victory.

“Early in the season, I probably would have been down on myself and frustrated with a few calls in that at-bat that I didn’t like,’’ Simoneaux said. “But, I’ve learned that you have more than one at-bat in the game and I still wanted to get three quality, maybe four, at-bats.’’

According to Dans coach Jason Watson, that has been a major change in Simoneaux over the summer.

“Early in the season, he would take his previous at-bats into his current at-bat,’’ Watson said. “When he has a clear mind, he is very effective. Whether its getting a sac fly or a double, or anything to help the team produce a run.’’

And producing runs is something that Simoneaux has done all year for Danville, which improved to 40-15 with the victory.

“That really means a lot to me because it’s an opportunity to help out my team and that’s what it’s all about for me,’’ he said.

With three more runs driven in on Thursday night, Simoneaux is now third in the Prospect League with 34 RBIs.

“I like being up in those situations,’’ he said. “My team is relying on me and I feel like I can get the job done every time for them. I’ve always liked being the go-to guy.’’

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