SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The second half of the Prospect League season is not starting out very well for the Danville Dans.
After winning the first-half title, the Dans have lost three in a row to start the second half, including an 8-5 contest on Wednesday night against the Champion City Kings.
“This definitely not how we wanted to get going in the second half,’’ Danville manager Eric Coleman said.
Not only are the Dans (19-14 overall) losing games, but the team has also lost another starting pitcher. Bryan Baker, who was leading the team in strikeouts with 40 and was selected to the Prospect League All-Star game, has decided to shut down his summer, while Dalton Lundeen, the team’s No. 3 starter, has left the team for his internship to complete his educational responsibilities
“When you lose your No. 2 and 3 starters, it’s going to take some time to adjust,’’ Coleman said. “But, the way that I see this, it’s an opportunity for two people on this roster to step up into bigger roles.’’
One of those candidates to take a top spot is Trevor Sutton, who lasted just 3.2 innings on Wednesday night, allowing eight hits and four runs, while walking three and striking out just one.
“Trevor didn’t have his best stuff and he got in trouble with a few walks,’’ Coleman said. “We need to do a better job of competing in the strike zone.’’
As far as the offense goes, Coleman had no complaints as the Danville Dans finished with 13 hits.
“We did enough offensively to win this game,’’ Coleman said. “We just didn’t catch the ball well enough and we didn’t pitch it well enough.’’
Danville shortstop Austin Bryant, a Prospect League All-Star starter, went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Also coming up with multiple hits for the Dans were all-star starter Keith Shumaker, who was 2-for-4, all-star starter Tyler Selesky, who was 2-for-4, designated hitter Corbin Olmstead, who was 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, and left fielder Connor McManigal, who was 2-for-3.
The Dans will continue their four-game, three-city road trip with a 6:05 p.m. contest against the Lorain County Ironmen, followed by two games against the Butler Blue Sox on Friday and Saturday.