BY CHAD DARE email@example.com
---- — DANVILLE — There was a brand new look to the Danville Dans on Tuesday night.
After starting the season with just one win in the first six games, the Dans welcomed five new guys into town for Tuesday’s contest against the Quincy Gems at Danville Stadium.
Included in that group was Corbin Olmstead, a member of the 2013 squad.
The junior-to-be from the University of North Florida felt right at home against the Gems, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs as the Dans snapped a five-game losing streak with a 12-11 victory before 576 at Danville Stadium.
“It’s the greatest feeling in the world, I love Danville,’’ said Olmstead. “Last year, it took me a while to get acclimated to everything. I was really excited about coming back. I already know everything I needed to know about Danville and I’m staying with the same great host family — the Buesings.’’
In his very first at-bat, Olmstead got the offense going with an RBI single to center, scoring Tyler Selesky, another returning member of the 2013 squad.
And those two got together again in the sixth inning. Selesky drilled a one-out double down the left-field line and Olmstead gave the Dans a lead they would never give up with an RBI single to center, breaking a 7-7 tie.
“First, I live to give all the glory to God,’’ Olmstead said. “But, I just tried to stay short at the plate. I took what I carried over from my college season.’’
This past spring, Olmstead batted .358 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs for the North Florida Ospreys.
“I got some great coaching at UNF,’’ said Olmstead, who also played a role on the mound.
The right-hander came into the game in the eighth inning with the tying run on first base and Olmstead struck out the Gems’ Clayton Evans, who came into Tuesday’s game batting .412, ans he was 1-for-4 in the contest.
In the ninth, Olmstead gave up a hit and a run, but he struck out Chris Tschida with the tying run standing on third base.
“Getting that save was a little nerve-wracking,’’ Olmstead said. “I haven’t been on the mound in two weeks, since my college season ended, so it was kind of trial by fire.’’
And the fact that his first appearance came against Quincy, the team that eliminated the 2013 Danville Dans for the postseason tournament, was definitely something that Olmstead, the starting pitcher in Game 1 of the best-of-three series thought about.
“I’m used to play the Gems. It was like I never left Danville,’’ he said. “But, it was a little different this time. I just wanted to get out there and pitch.’’
Danville Dans manager Eric Coleman has been expecting this influx of talent and he was very happy to get guys that Olmstead into uniform.
“We were expecting them to get here and we were expecting them to contribute right away — and they did,’’ Coleman said. “From the very first day that I got this job, Corbin was going to be in the middle of our lineup,’’ said Coleman, noting that he had 10 home runs this past spring. “He wants to have a chance to play at the next level and I’m looking forward to working with him.’’
How about that ninth inning with the tying run on third?
“He is probably going to give me a heart attack all summer,’’ Coleman said. “I don’t have any hair, so I don’t have to worry about it turning gray. But I’m glad he is here. He is going to be our closer.’’
Also making their season-debuts with the Dans on Tuesday were outfielder Ronnie Jebavy and shortstop Austin Bryant.
Jebavy, a junior-to-be from Columbia State Community College, went 1-for-4 with two RBIs, while Bryant, a senior-to-be from Middle Tennessee State, was also 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
“Now, they can relax and play the game,’’ Coleman said. “I’m sure they were a little anxious with this being their first game and in front of a good crowd. But, we brought them here for a reason — they are good players.’’
On the mound, Mac Lozer, a sophomore-to-be from Michigan, earned the victory with 2.2 innings of relief, striking out six and Trevor Sutton, a sophomore-to-be from Memphis, went 2.1 innings, allowing two earned runs.
“Our bullpen did a good job,’’ said Coleman, as right-handed starter Ben Braymer lasted just one inning. “There are some things we have to clean up with Ben. But those bullpen guys competed and gave us an opportunity to win this game.
“Getting those three new pitchers is good for pitching depth. When you are able to add three guys after six games, it’s great. And they all contributed.’’
Selesky, Olmstead and Keith Shumaker all led the Danville offensive attack with two hits, while Derek Harrington got the team’s first home run of the season in the third inning.
DANS ON DECK Final score -- Danville Dans 12, Quincy Gems 11 Key player -- Danville's Corbin Olmstead made his season debut, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored, two RBIs and he also got a four-out save, striking out two in the process. Up next -- The Dans are back home tonight with a 6:30 p.m. contest against the Springfield Sliders at Danville Stadium. Probable starter -- Danville: RHP C.J. Burdick (0-0, 7.71 ERA); Springfield: TBD. Promotion -- It's a triple-play Wednesday. For $9, you get your ticket to the game along with two of soda, beer or hot dog.