The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

June 16, 2013

Speakers come out refreshed


TILTON —  When a five games in six days stretch ended Tuesday with an eight inning win over Urbana, the Danville Post 210 Speakers got a three-day break before returning to action Saturday at the Carl Gruber Sports Complex against the Piatt County senior team.

Led by eight strong innings from Jake England and powered by home runs from Kody Zumwalt and Jeff Woods, the Speakers overcame an early deficit and cruised to a 13-4 win.

“It was just the way the schedule fell this year and it was huge for us,” said Post 210 coach Allen Shepherd. “We had a lot of sore arms and sore knees and we played today with a lot of energy. We were more aggressive on the mound, more aggressive at the plate, and more aggressive in the field.”

Coming off a standout senior season for Oakwood, which included a no-hitter, England has continued his success with the Speakers.

The Danville Area Community College signee struck out 16, walked two, and has only allowed a total of two earned runs in twenty five innings of work.

“We had alot of games in a row earlier this season and the break was good for us, but I was a little to strong early in the game and my control wasn’t the best,” England said. “I struggled with it but was able to find it. They jumped out early on us, but we were able to fight back and get the win.”

One of the keys to England’s success has been his ability to command multiple pitches.

“I thought Jake’s command of his off speed stuff was as good today as it has been all season,” Shepherd said. “Jake knew we needed him to go deep into today’s game and he was able to give us eight strong innings. He has developed a confidence in the defense behind him and that showed today. He still struck out 16, but he pitched instead of overthrowing.”

Piatt County took the lead in the top of the first, but the Speakers took it back in the bottom of the inning on the blasts from Zumwalt and Woods and held it for the rest of the game.

A former multiple sport standout for North Vermilion, Zumwalt had four hits to lead the Speakers offense. He has signed to play football for Elmhurst College, while Woods, who is from Turkey Run, began the season with the Junior Speakers.

“This was a really big win for us because we were able to bounce back after falling behind early and then held the lead for the rest of the game,” said Shepherd. “We haven’t done that much this year. Offense is the key for us. When we hit we do everything else well.”

The Speakers feature players from eight different area schools.

“When we first started the season, you could see we were a bunch of guys from different places,” said England. “Lately though, we have come together as a team and we are playing good team baseball.”

The Speakers move to 9-3 on the season and return to action today at 10:30 a.m. at Danville Stadium against Sullivan.