DANVILLE — Finding good temporary players at the start of the Prospect League season is very important.
Those guys fill needed positions until the complete roster can get to town. And every once in a while, a team like the Danville Dans find a guy that they want to keep around or at very least, ask him to come back.
That's what happened this summer with catcher Kollyn All, a senior-to-be from Butler and Lafayette, Ind.
"We stayed in touch with him,'' said Danville Dans manager Eric Coleman. "He had some things to take care of this summer, but when the opportunity presented itself to come back — he was more than winning and able to do it.''
On Saturday night, All playing in his 12th game with Danville — his eighth since returning — went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored as the Dans extended their win streak to seven games with a 8-4 victory over the Terre Haute Rex. It was sixth straight win for Danville over Terre Haute this week.
"I really enjoyed being in Danville those first few weeks of the season,'' said All, who was 3-of-12 with three RBIs in four games. "I let coach know that if they ever needed someone to help out that I was just a phone call away.''
But, why come back?
"Danville is a team that plays to win,'' he said. "It's fun when you are competing every day, and, it's better than sitting at home.''
In his first three games back with the Dans, All struggled with just one hit in seven at-bats, but in his last three starts, he is 4-of-10 at the plate.
"It's hard to get your timing back against quality collegiate pitchers when you take multiple weeks off,'' All said. "Coach has kept putting me in the lineup, giving me a chance to figure things out. I really appreciate the support.''
All acknowledged getting these at-bats at the end of the Prospect League season is really going to help him when fall baseball starts at Butler in September.
"We are brining in a lot of recruits this year, so we are going to have a competitive fall,'' All said. "I want be as ready as I can be, being one of the team leaders.
"It's better to show up ready, than try to get ready.''
All and the rest of the Dans are enjoying a very unique week.
Saturday's win was the sixth straight over the Rex as part of seven-game series between rivals for the Branch Rickey Cup. Danville has already secured this year's head-to-head battle with 10 victories in 11 games against Terre Haute. The two teams will meet three more times this season, including today's game at 4:30 p.m. at Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute.
"It's a great accomplishment to win six game straight in one week, whether that's against one team or multiple teams,'' Coleman said. "Our guys are starting to believe and buy in. We just need to keep that worker's mentality and keep grinding to get better every time we step onto the field.''
Saturday's game between the Dans and Rex, which was called in the sixth inning because of lightning, was far from perfect on either side.
Danville and Terre Haute combined to commit eight errors and the Dans capitalized with five unearned runs.
"It doesn't matter if they are earned or unearned runs,'' Coleman said. "As long as that scoreboard shows more runs for the Dans than the opponent — I will be happy with it.''
But he also admitted that his team needed to clean up their play as the Dans had two errors leading to one unearned run and Danville pitchers Hayden Birdsong and Marc Lidd combined for five walks and five wild pitches.
With the victory, Danville improves to 28-18 overall and 12-6 in the second half standings of the Wabash River Division.