The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 26, 2013

Jags swept by Cobras

BY CHAD DARE
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — The month of April has not been very good for the Danville Area Community College baseball team.

While the weather has forced a number of schedule changes, the biggest problem for the Jaguars has been in games played.

Danville Area Community College, which started the season winning 13 of its first 14 games, was swept in a Mid-West Athletic Conference doubleheader on Thursday at Danville Stadium.

Parkland College had three big offensive innings and held off late rallies to beat DACC 8-6 in the opener and 7-6 in the second game.

“We’re struggling a little big offensively in key spots, clutch spots,’’ DACC coach Tim Bunton said. “We get runners in scoring position, and we’re not getting that big two-out hit.’’

The Jaguars, who are 7-12 this month, have won just four of their last 15 games and they are just 1-6 in their last seven MWAC contests.

DACC (19-13 overall, 10-10 in the MWAC) got the winning run to the plate in both games against Parkland reliever Jake Weber.

In the first game, Weber got Michael Walker to hit into a game-ending double play and in the second contest he got Pete Strommen to fly out to right with the bases loaded.

“I know teams fight through these type of situations during a year — this is just not a good time for us to be fighting this problem,’’ Bunton said.

And it’s not only an offensive problem for the Jaguars.

Parkland won the opener thanks in large part to a four-run fourth in which the Cobras got a pair of run-scoring hits with two outs.

In the second game, it was six-run third inning with the Cobras having six straight batters reach base by hit, walk or error.

“We’re struggling to shut it off,’’ Bunton said. “We have people that can shut it off, but it’s snowballing on us a little bit.’’

And the veteran coach says the ability to stop the big inning starts with a positive attitude.

“I’m not sure that our mindset is in the right place,’’ he said. “I think we’re worrying about what’s next rather than this is it, and we are going to limit the damage.

“We’re not a powerful offense, but I believe we have enough to compete.

“Right now, we’re just playing well enough to lose by one run or two runs.’’

Trevor Jennings led the Jaguar offense on Thursday with a double, a triple and three RBIs, while Brock Sokoloski and Patrick Cottrell each had a single and double in the second game.

Parkland’s Adam Casson, a member of the Danville Dans last summer and set to play for them again this summer, had a solo home run in the first game for the Cobras.

Danville Area Community College is back in action today with a non-conference contest against Marian University in Indianapolis.

The Jaguars have a very important four-game home series this weekend against the John Wood Trail Blazers.

“Our goal right now is to qualify for the tournament,’’ Bunton said.

The top six teams in the MWAC qualify for the postseason tournament. The Jaguars are currently fifth in the league standings.

“We need to get some Ws,’’ Bunton said.