DANVILLE — Just like any other baseball kid in Danville, Chase Thurston has grown up wanting to play for the Danville Dans.
Tonight, the right-handed pitcher from Eastern Illinois University is going to see his dream become a reality as Thurston has been added to roster of the Prospect League team.
“I can’t wait to put on that uniform and get out onto that field,’’ said Thurston, a former all-area selection. “The past two years, I worked for the Varsity Room at the Stadium and now I’m going to get my chance to play in a game.’’
Thurston has had many good memories at Danville Stadium after playing for the Danville Vikings and the Danville Post 210 Speakers over the past three seasons, and he is hoping to make a few more.
“I really looking forward to being a part of this team in the second half of the season,’’ said Thurston, who expects to pitch out of the bullpen for the Dans.
During his collegiate season, Thurston was 0-4 with a 10.80 ERA in 28.1 innings with the Panthers, but he started his summer pitching for the DuPage County Hounds in the Midwest Collegiate League. He was 0-0 with 1 save and a 4.15 ERA in 13 innings for the Hounds with nine walks and 16 strikeouts.
“I was doing fairly well up there, but this was an opportunity to come home and I couldn’t pass it up,’’ said Thurston as DuPage County was in first place with a 15-5 record.
Thurston is joining a Dans team that has officially won the Prospect League’s West Division first-half title with a 19-11 record. Danville opened the second half with a 4-1 loss to Quincy on Sunday night, snapping the team’s six-game winning streak.
“We’ve been playing really well lately,’’ said Danville manager Eric Coleman, whose team has won 8 of its last 10. “We’re happy to have clinched the playoff berth, but our goal is still to win the whole league. We are going to have to keep playing well, playing a full nine innings every night.’’