BY ROB WITZEL
On Sunday, the Danville Post 210 Speakers had a very exciting pair of games, sweeping Lincoln Post 263 with scores of 4-0 and 8-3 wins.
In the opening game, Chase Thurston pitched an absolute gem of a game. Thurston pitched all seven innings and just four batters reached base: one on an error, two by way of the walk and just one reached base with a hit.
The first six batters were sent down on strikes and of the 21 outs recorded throughout the game, 16 of them came from a Thurston strikeout.
“He was phenomenal.” said Post 210 teammate Kody Zumwalt. “He makes the other kids look not very good, but in reality they are really good.”
While he was on the mound Thurston knew he was having a special day, but didn’t realize how special until the game was over.
“I try not to think about it during the game.” Thurston said. “I knew after the first two innings I had six strikeouts and that I could get a few more but I try to take it one batter at a time. I had good command of my fastball and I was getting my curve ball over for a strike. When I do that it’s usually pretty effective.”
Not that he needed it, but Thurston was giving an early confidence boost when the offense got off to a hot start and took a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
After Jake England and Chase Thurston reached base safely, Austin Calhoun and Bryce Bowling brought them in. Calhoun would later score on a passed ball to take an early 3-0 lead.
“When there’s run support behind you it gives you room to make a mistake,” Thurston said.
With the dominant performance, the lead never changed until the sixth inning when Adam Depratt’s RBI double brought in Kyle Coburn. The game would end with a 4-0 Speakers win.
In game two, the bats were hot again early. A four-run first inning with RBIs from Zumwalt (2), Jordan West and Zack Girton provided an early lead once again.
‘‘That’s something we haven’t done all year.’’ Danville coach Allan Shepherd said. “We usually wait for the middle of the game to get things going but we made some changes to the lineup and it worked. We’ve been pitching well and playing good defense we did so again today but the difference was we hit.”
“We’ve been struggling at the plate.” Zumwalt added “We’ve been working really hard on hitting, tweaking stances — we’re just trying to get back on track and win some games.’’
Lincoln caused a scare when they scored one run in the third inning and two runs in the fourth. Danville, however, answered back big with a four run rally.
The big inning started with Nik Shepherd single followed by a Bowling double. Ryan Bott knocked in Shepherd with a single and then the following two batters were walked. With the bases loaded Jeff Woods knocked in one run and then Zumwalt collected two more RBIs.
The Speakers held onto the lead and took their 18th win of the season. With his team now 18-6, Coach Shepherd is excited with how things are coming together late in the year.
“The season’s starting to come to an end and now it’s starting to come together,’’ he said
Danville is back in action tonight with a game on the road against Piatt County.