DANVILLE — Good teams don’t give up free bases.
Danville Dans manager Eric Coleman knows this all too well and it has served his team well this summer, except for Thursday night.
The Terre Haute Rex took advantage of nine walks and three errors to beat the Dans 4-1 before 1,329 at Danville Stadium.
“When you give 12 free bases, you are pretty much not going to beat anyone,’’ said Coleman referring to the nine walks and three errors. “We have to do a better job of playing catch if we want to win a championship. We also can’t give up free passes.’’
But could this have been a case of a rusty team after the all-star break?
“Having four days off is not an excuse,’’ he said. “Our pitchers need to compete in the zone.’’
Suffering the loss on Thursday night was former Danville High standout Chase Thurston. The sophomore-to-be from Eastern Illinois University gave up two runs in four innings, and the right-hander walked five and struck out three.
“I had a rough start at first,’’ said Thurston, who walked the leadoff hitter on four pitches and then gave up back-to-back hits for Manuel De Jesus and a run-scoring single to Clayton Smithson. “I feel like I pulled things together a little bit and had a few good innings after that.’’
But, it was that first inning with the Rex (7-1 in the second half and 23-14 overall) scoring two runs off of Thurston (0-2) that was too much for the Dans (1-6 and 20-17) to overcome.
“We just didn’t compete in the zone,’’ said Coleman as Danville pitchers saw three of its five leadoff walks cross the plate. “It has rarely happened to us this summer. We have been a top-five team in pitching, but we just didn’t do a good job of competing in the zone tonight.