TILTON — Most people tend to gravitate toward the bigger fireworks — the ones that have multiple colors and feature the loud booms.
But, there are other kinds of fireworks. There are the simple sparklers, firecrackers and bottle rockets. And while they are not multi-colored or extremely loud, but when put together, these smaller varieties can provide a really good show.
The same holds true on the baseball field.
Home runs are the easiest ways to score runs, but stringing together a bunch of singles and doubles are just effective. That was the case on Thursday afternoon in the TB24 Memorial Tournament at Gruber Park in Tilton.
Danville Post 210 Speakers cruised to a 2-0 record in the tournament's first day, scoring 38 runs on just two homers, but they had nine doubles and 25 singles.
"It's our approach, we are working the pitchers,'' said Danville manager Allan Shepherd. "Everyone is flattening their swings through the zone, instead of trying to lift like they did early in the year.
"This team is not a power team, and they are finally accepting that.''
Leading the offensive charge in the first game was shortstop Ernest Plummer, who went 5-for-5 with five runs scored and five RBIs in the 20-3 victory for Post 210 over Crawfordsville.
"It was a pretty good day for me,'' said Plummer, the former Danville standout that played at Lewis & Clark this spring. "We all came in here ready to play hard for TB. We had a little extra boost from that and we all fed off the extra bit of energy it gave us today.''
The TB that Plummer refers to is former Post 210 pitcher coach Tyler Brennan, who lost his life in an automobile accident in last year, and this tournament is named in his honor. Plummer and Chase Vinson, who went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and a home run in the second game victory over Ford/Iroquois County 18-2, are the only members of the Post 210 squad that played for Brennan.
"Everyone on this team is a part of the Post 210 family, and we all know what he meant to this program,'' Plummer said.
While Shepherd said the key for Danville has been leveling their swings, Plummer said he needed to make an adjustment the other way.
"I've been really trying to elevate the ball more,'' he said. "Recently, I've been hitting a lot of balls on the ground. I've been working in the cage to get the ball up for line drives and I was able to do that in this game.''
In his final at-bat, Plummer believed that he was a home run shy of the cycle. Actually, he only had two singles and two doubles — although he did wind up on third after one of those doubles.
"Before I go to the plate, I always think about my previous at-bats and I try to do something a little better,'' Plummer said. "I got to thinking about it and realized that I needed a homer for the cycle.''
Plummer wasn't going to pass up that opportunity.
"I was either striking out or hitting a home run,'' he said.
It was the later. Plummer blasted a 2-1 pitch from Crawfordsville pitcher Alex Tallman for a 3-run homer to left-center. And while it didn't truly give him a cycle, it was still a 5-for-5 day with five RBIs.
"I don't care if it was a cycle or now. I will take a 5-for-5 day every time from EP,'' said Shepherd. "Ernest was our 3-hole hitter earlier in the year, but Brent (Vinson) and I decided to get him at the top and let him set the table.
"When EP is hitting gap-to-gap, he is probably the best hitter in the division.''
Danville right-hander Ryan Drayer threw just 12 pitches to retire Crawfordsville in order in the first inning. The Speakers went to right-hander Michael Moreman to start the second as they had already built an 8-0 lead.
"Michael came in and ate some inning for us,'' Shepherd said. "That puts in a good spot for this weekend.''
And what about Drayer?
"We decided to pull him early so that he could come back on Saturday, if we want,'' Shepherd said.
It was more of the same in the win over Ford/Iroquois in Thursday's final game.
The Speakers had three 6-run innings with Vinson and Chase Rademacher combining to drive in eight runs, while Elijah Harden went three innings followed by single innings from Trey Bryant and Josh Weller.
Danville will play Lincoln at 4 p.m. today. With a win, the Post 210 Speakers would advance to Saturday's championship game against an opponent to be determined.