The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

July 9, 2013

Danville Dans extend win streak to eight

STAFF REPORT
Commercial-News

HANNIBAL, Mo. — No team in the Prospect League is playing better baseball right now than the Danville Dans.

Since the first day of July, Danville has won eight straight, a season-best win streak, included in that is five straight wins on the road, one at Quincy, two at Terre Haute and two on Sunday at Hannibal.

The Dans used a powerful offensive attack in Hannibal, pounding out 25 hits while beating the Cavemen 8-4 and 7-5.

“These guys are very competitive and they’ve been going out and playing really good baseball all week,’’ said Danville coach Jason Watson on Monday as the Dans got a much-needed day off. “When a team is committed to winning and they are playing good baseball, that’s when you get these type of win streaks rolling.’’

And it wasn’t just one or two guys that got the Danville offense going on Sunday.

Prospect League all-star Casey Fletcher, a native of Oakwood, was 4-for-6 with three runs scored and an RBI. Danville leadoff batter Jake Thomas was 5-for-8 with two runs scored and an RBI. Chet Simoneaux was 4-for-7 with his third home run of the season, two runs scored and two RBIs. And Spencer Herrmann was 4-for-8 with a run scored and an RBI.

The Dans also had five of the six extra-base hits in Sunday’s doubleheader.

“These guys are really swinging it well right now,’’ Watson said. “They have good approaches at the plate and they are getting good pitches to hit.

“Good things are happening because we are putting the ball in play.’’

And while the offense was a major contributing factor on Sunday, Watson said the pitching staff also deserved a great deal of credit.

“It was a pretty hot day over in Hannibal and our guys went out there and battled,’’ said Watson as Danville used seven pitchers in the two games.

In the first game, Jacob Hall allowed just one run in 2Ï innings, Miles Nordgren, who has also been selected for the Prospect League all-star game, earned the victory, allowing three runs, just one earned run in 2Ï innings. Jared Burton and Corbin Olmstead threw 2Ï innings of shutout relief to seal the win.

In the second game, Mitch Holtz made his just his second start of the summer, allowing four runs in 4Ð innings. Jon Rashid (2-2) struck out the only batter he faced to earn the victory. Trey McNickle claimed his fourth save of the summer, allowing one run in the final two innings.

The doubleheader lasted 6 hours and 37 minutes, so Watson was really pleased to have Monday off.

“We used all of our bullpen guys with the exception of Evan (Dunn), and he threw two innings in Saturday’s game,’’ Watson said.

And while the Dans didn’t play on Monday, their lead in the Prospect League’s West Division expanded as the Springfield Sliders, who snapped a 14-game losing streak on Sunday, beat the Quincy Gems 6-5. In the other West Division game, Hannibal defeated Terre Haute, 4-1.

Danville, with the Prospect League’s best record of 24-11, will hit the road tonight with a game tonight in Springfield against the Sliders. First pitch at Robin Roberts Field is set for 6:35 p.m.