The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

July 10, 2013

Danville Dans extend win streak to nine

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SPRINGFIELD — In most baseball leagues, the teams with the best records typically dominate the all-star teams.

That’s not the case this summer with the Prospect League.

The Danville Dans have the league’s best record (25-11) after a 5-3 win in 10 innings over the Springfield Sliders on Tuesday night at Robin Roberts Field.

But in next week’s Prospect League All-Star Game in Butler, Pa., the Dans will be represented by only four players — Troy Conyers, Casey Fletcher, Miles Nordgren and Tyler Selesky.

Ironically, the top team in the Prospect League’s East Division, the West Virginia Miners, also have just four representatives in the all-star contest.

Danville left-handed reliever Jared Burton and closer Trey McNickle, two obvious all-star snubs, showed on Tuesday night how important they have been to the Dans march to the top of the league standings.

Burton lowered his ERA to 0.68 with 3Ï innings of shutout relief and he got the victory improving his record to 2-1.

McNickle got the final three outs in the 10th to earn his team-leading fifth save.

“I think it’s amazing that we only have four all-star representatives,’’ Danville manager Jason Watson said. “Both Jared and Trey have proven this year that they are worthy of being in any all-star game.

“Jared is competitor. He always wants the ball and he is a guy that I want out there as long as possible. And when we get the ball to Trey with a chance of winning, he does his job.’’

Watson believes that Danville had six or even seven players that should have been chosen for the all-star game.

“I’m not sure how the other teams voted, but I definitely think we should have more than four players,’’ Watson said.

Another player that probably got snubbed was Spencer Herrmann, who delivered the two-out, RBI-double in the 10th inning for the Dans.

Herrmann is now batting .315 with seven RBIs, but he is also 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA.

“That was a big hit by Spencer in the 10th inning,’’ said Watson, as it came after the Dans had two baserunners thrown out trying to get to third base. “I would rather have guys being aggressive, but those were two mistakes.

“Spencer came through with a huge hit and picked up his teammates.’’

Before the 10th inning, Danville scored all of its runs on one swing of the bat.

Catcher Kyle Kapka hit his first home run of the summer with two outs in the fifth inning.

With the victory, Danville extended its season-best win streak to nine games and it was the sixth straight road victory for the Dans.

“Not every day are you going to hit the ball like we did on Sunday,’’ said Watson, whose team had 25 hits in a doubleheader sweep of Hannibal. “But the key thing is that this team competes in every game. They found a way to get a win tonight and that’s what matters the most.’’

The Dans return to Danville Stadium tonight for a 6:30 p.m. contest against the Hannibal Cavemen.

Corbin Olmstead will get the start for Danville.