BY CHAD DARE
Beaten and bruised is how the Danville Post 210 Speakers concluded their regular season.
On Sunday afternoon, Danville earned its 20th win of the year as Post 210 split a doubleheader with the Douglas-Moultrie team.
“The first game looked like our first game of the year,’’ said Danville manager Allan Shepherd, whose team dropped the first game 11-7 before coming back with a 12-2 victory in the second game at Danville Stadium. “We started to hit it there at the end of the first game, but we just couldn’t hold it together in the field.
“As we have talked about all year, it’s about having a complete game.’’
This past weekend, the Speakers struggled with that consistency and some of that has to do with their injury problems and some players being on vacation.
Danville was without its top two pitchers, Chase Thurston (vacation) and Jake England (injury) for the doubleheaders against Douglas-Moultrie on Sunday.
“We’re just trying to get through the day with what we’ve got,’’ said Danville infielder Garrett Martin, who had four hits on Sunday. “Luckily, we have a lot of players on this team.’’
And Post 210 seemingly got things corrected for the second game on Sunday.
Danville scored 12 runs in five innings and the Speakers pounded out 11 hits. Right-hander Zach Girton got the victory as he allowed just two runs.
“In the second game, we did well in all aspects of the game,’’ Shepherd said. “For our regular-season ending game, it was a good note to leave on.’’
Danville was scheduled to play a doubleheader tonight in Terre Haute, Ind., but Shepherd cancelled it so that his team could have a full week off before starting the Fourth Division Tournament.
“With have some players on vacation and other hurt, we are going take the time to rest and for some much-needed practice,’’ Shepherd said.
Danville is the defending champions of the division tournament and the Speakers will be seeded second.
The official tournament schedule is expected to be released today.
“Everyone is ready and anticipating it. We want to get back to state,’’ said Martin, as Post 210 finished third in the Illinois State Tournament a year ago. “The pressure is always there, but you learn how to deal with it.
“We need to make sure that everyone is mentally prepared and make sure we are ready physically. We just have to be ready.’’
And Shepherd believes his team will be ready as long as they are healthy enough.
“Hopefully, we will get our pitching back,’’ he said, noting that England is only expected to miss a week. “But, no matter who we have on the mound, we have to play good defense behind them. And, offensively, we are hitting the ball well. We scored 19 runs today.
“The key for us in the Division Tournament is the same as it has been all year, we have to put all aspects of the game together to be successful.’’
While Martin led the Post 210 offense with four hits in the twinbill, Hunter Kraul had three RBIs in the two games for Danville.
Others with multiple-hits on Saturday were Adam Depratt with two hits in the first game, Jeff Woods, Bryce Bowling and Jordan West each had two hits in the second.