Evatt 11.jpg

Danville’s Dan Evatt runs toward third during Tuesday’s game against Quincy at Danville Stadium. Evatt had four RBIs as the Dans beat the Gems 9-6.

Fans attending Danville Stadium this summer to watch the Danville Dans had better plan on staying for all nine innings.

Pete Paciorek’s 2008 squad has already proven in two home games this season that they know what it takes to come from behind.

On Tuesday night, Danville overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Quincy Gems 9-6 before 1,017 at Danville Stadium.

In the home opener on Friday night against the Springfield Sliders, the Dans rallied from a five-run deficit.

“I love this team,’’ Paciorek said. “They never give up. All of them love baseball and they have a lot of pride in what they do.’’

Fittingly, it was a pair of Dans getting the job done for Danville (3-1)

Second baseman Dan Kaczrowski went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and RBI, while designated hitter Dan Evatt was 3-for-4 with four RBIs.

“At the beginning of the game, it’s kind of scary,’’ said Kaczrowski, from Hamline University. “But, it’s also good to know that we can come from behind, especially for later in the season.’’

Evatt, who tripled his RBI total from two to six, admitted that it’s a mentality this group of guys has developed.

“Bottom line — it’s just great to be on a team with a bunch of guys that will fight and that will not give up, no matter what the score is,’’ he said. “It’s really exciting to see that, early in the year. We have great team chemistry.’’

Paciorek said most of that stems from the fact that each player has found a way to contribute in the come-from-behind victories.

Eight of the nine batters in the Danville lineup had a hit and six of them scored a run.

Evatt, who had run-scoring hits in the first and third innings, came up with the game-tying two-run double with two outs in the sixth.

The Dans wound up with five two-out RBIs in the contest.

“It’s a mentality that no matter how many outs we have, we are going to scrap and get runs,’’ said Evatt, who raised his average from .133 to .263. “Hopefully, that will be the story of the year.

“After I got that first hit, things got rolling for me. It turned out to be a real good night for me. I need more of those.’’

Evatt, a sophomore-to-be from Baylor, said a big key for him was that he didn’t let his slow start get into his head.

That has also been the case for center fielder Drew Haynes, who had the eventual game-winning two-run single to left-center for the Dans.

“If you have a bad at-bat, you can’t take it into the next at-bat,’’ Haynes said. “If you have a bad at-bat, you can’t take it into the field.

“You have to keep making plays and sooner or later — it will come around for you.’’

That’s exactly what happened for Haynes.

The sophomore-to-be from Louisville overcame a pair of strikeouts in the first two innings and .166 batting average against left-handed pitching to deliver the critical hit for the Dans.

“It’s not the first time that’s happened to me. I think in the first game at home, I had two strikeouts in my first two at-bats and I ended up getting two hits,’’ Haynes said. “You can never give up. Baseball can be a frustrating sport, but it also can be good to you.

“If you take those first two at-bats into your next couple of at-bats, you will struggle even more. You have to have a short-termed memory when you play baseball.’’

Quincy (2-4) scored five times in the first two innings off of Danville starter Jon Clarence, who walked five in his three innings.

The Gems led 6-2 after a solo home run by Kurtis Muller in the fourth, but that’s when the Dans bullpen took over.

Rich Goodenow, who joined the Dans on Tuesday, allowed just the home run to Muller, while striking out four in his two innings.

Next came John Foley, who after struggling in Friday’s home opener, threw three shutout innings of relief, allowing two hits and two walks, while striking out four.

“Basically, we were only planning to throw Foley for one inning to prepare him for Thursday,’’ Paciorek said. “Since, we are a little short on pitching right now, we stayed with him and he did outstanding.

“It was especially good to see him find a comfort zone and a rhythm this time around.’’

Foley earned the victory, while reliever Greg Houston threw a scoreless ninth to get his second save of the year.

Paciorek said he wasn’t sure who would be his starter for tonight’s contest against Springfield. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

Matt Bywater and Tyler Hess from Pepperdine are two possibilities as they arrived during Tuesday’s game with Quincy.

Flanagan goes pro; Kuhns will fill void

Part of Danville’s starting pitching problems for tonight can be attributed to John Flanagan leaving the team to sign with the Kansas City Royals.

Flanagan, a 13th-round draft pick of the Royals on Friday, tentatively agreed to terms with the major league team on Tuesday.

In his one appearance with the Dans, Flanagan got the opening-night victory, allowing one run in five innings.

Taking his spot on the roster will be Austin Peay right-hander Scott Kuhns from Propsect Heights.

Kuhns, who was a NJCAA second-team all-American at Parkland in 2007, spent the 2006 CICL season with the Twin City Stars.

He was 5-4 with a 4.22 ERA with the Stars, who beat the Dans for the CICL Tournament title.

In his two years at Parkland, Kuhns went 7-1 with a 2.21 ERA in 2007 and 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 2006.

Trending Video

Recommended for you