The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

March 15, 2012

Jaguars cool off Blazers

DANVILLE — Sophomore right-hander David Toth did not go into Wednesday’s contest expecting a complete game.

The Danville Area Community College pitcher really didn’t think he would make it all nine innings when he struggled early with his slider.

But there he was in the ninth inning, getting the final three outs in the Jaguars 9-1 victory over the Vincennes College Trailblazers on a perfect night for baseball at Danville Stadium.

“I really thought that my pitch count was higher,’’ said Toth, the former Westville standout, who allowed just one unearned run. “It proves that I have the ability.’’

DACC coach Tim Bunton said the team had him on a strict 100-pitch limit.

“We’ve built some arm strength indoors, but he only threw 99 tonight,’’ he said. “I told my staff that there was no way that we would let him go over 100.’’

And, it’s just the type of performance DACC (12-2 overall) will need from its right-hander when they start Mid-West Athletic Conference play in two weeks.

“It was a great performance by David, but that’s what we’ve grown to expect from him,’’ DACC sophomore catcher Connor Weir said. “We rely on David for a lot of innings. We need him to go out there and shut down good teams like he did tonight.’’

Both Bunton and Toth admittedly wonder how long the right-hander was going to last without his breaking ball.

“I thought he got better as the game went along,’’ Bunton said.

That’s because, it took Toth a few innings to get his slider working, but when he did.

“His best pitch was his slider,’’ Weir said. “It had a real hard break to it and it kept them off-balance.’’

And that’s part of the reason why Toth recorded six of his 10 strikeouts in the final five innings.

“I found it mid-game and it helped my confidence,’’ Toth said. “I just kind of worked on it in between innings. I laid off it for a while, but once the game progresses, I settle down and things start working for me.’’

The Jaguars also gave Toth a helping hand on the offensive side with a three-run second and a five-run third.

Weir drove in runs in both frames for DACC with a sacrifice fly in the second and RBI single in the third.

“We’ve got our offense going,’’ he said. “We have stuck with coach Bunton’s philosophy of getting on teams early, running on them and putting pressure on their defense.’’

And that was definitely the formula in the three-run second as Pat Cottrell’s successful hit-and-run was followed by a two-run double to right-center by Ryan Black.

“It’s a game that I like to play, and it’s a game that we are trying to get our kids to buy into,’’ Bunton said. “We want to move people and put the defense on their heels.

“I think it set the tone tonight for us.’’

Providing a big spark in the Jaguar attack was right-fielder Dalton Tinsley, who went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and three RBIs.

“He is a perfect example of what this team is about,’’ Bunton said. “He came into tonight 3-of-25 on the season, hitting .120. We started him and he puts together three or four good at-bats.

“He kept a pretty good attitude. He fights it some, but if guys don’t produce, we have guys that will step in and produce.’’

Also helping the DACC attack was former Schlarman standout Zane Dillon, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

Vincennes, which drops to 17-7 on the season, scored a single unearned run in the third.

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Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here: http://smu.gs/1iCWKnP

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