DANVILLE — It seems like the Danville Dans have been losing more than just games to start the second half of the Prospect League season.
Since winning the first-half title, the Dans have started the second half with just one win in seven games and the team has seen five pitchers depart for various reasons and that group accounted for 10 victories and 136 of their 312 innings pitched this season.
So Danville manager Eric Coleman says “it’s all hands on deck until we get some new guys in here.’’
On Saturday night, one of the original pitchers from the opening day stepped up when the team needed him the most.
A.J. Childerson, a former standout at Danville Area Community College, tossed six shutout innings of relief to get the victory as the Danville Dans defeated the Hannibal Cavemen 9-4 before a crowd of 5,251 at Danville Stadium for Cellular One Poster Night.
“He gave us a chance to win the ball game,’’ Coleman said. “He put up some zeroes for us. We had to grind it out. We are going to need all hands on deck and he did an outstanding job for us.’’
Childerson, who had pitched a total of six innings in his three previous relief stints, allowed just three hits, while striking out seven and walking none.
“Spotting the fastball and being able to throw another pitch for strikes to keep them off-balance was important,’’ said Childerson, who improved to 3-3 on the summer. “I haven’t been getting a lot of strikeouts, but, tonight I was getting a lot of strikeouts because I was getting ahead.’’
It was a welcomed sight for Coleman, who saw his pitching staff walk nine in Thursday’s loss to Terre Haute. Danville starter Trevor Sutton walked three in three innings and he allowed four runs, but Childerson, who had walked six in his six previous innings, didn’t give up a free pass.