SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Good teams just simply find more ways to win than to lose.
That is certainly been the case this summer for the Danville Dans in the Prospect League.
One day is an explosive offense powering the Dans to win. The next day it is the pitching staff recording double digit strikeouts. Whatever it takes that day to win, Danville seemingly has found it more than its opponents.
On Wednesday night, in the first game of a doubleheader, the Dans had to work a little overtime but they pulled out a 5-1 victory over the Champion City Kings at Davidson Stadium.
It took a combination of solid pitching and then some clutch hitting in the ninth for Danville to extend its latest win streak to three games.
Right-handed reliever Ryan Patel tossed three shutout inning of relief, allowing just one hit, while walking two and striking out three to earn the victory. Patel (2-0) hasn't allowed an earned run in 16.1 innings this summer. He followed Kaleb Hill and Jesse Wainscott.
Hill went the first 3.2 innings, allowing just one run on two hits, but the left-hander from Ole Miss walked four and struck out only one. Wainscott went the next 2.1 innings and he only allowed one hit, while walking two and striking out three.
In the first eight frames, the only offense that Danville could muster against Champion City was a leadoff solo home run from Max Jung-Goldberg.
Finally, in the ninth, Craig Keuchel got things started with a one-out single. He was replace by pinch-runner Walker McCleney, who advanced to third on a single by Wes Toups. The Dans took the lead on an RBI single from Cade Brown, giving them a 2-1 lead.
That advantage quickly jumped to 5-1 as Ryan Archibald followed with a three-run homer. That was more than enough offense for Patel.
With a more than 4-hour opener, the second game of the doubleheader didn't start until after 9 p.m. (Central). Details of that game can be found on www.commercial-news.com and in Friday's editions of the Commercial-News.
Gustafson, Nickalearn Big Ten awards
ROSEMONT — Iowa women’s basketball center Megan Gustafson was honored as the 2018-19 Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year, and Penn State wrestler Bo Nickal was recognized as the 2018-19 Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year, the conference announced Wednesday.
Gustafson is the first Iowa student since Kristy Gleason (field hockey) in 1994 to be recognized as the Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year. She is the eighth basketball standout to claim the honor. Gustafson concluded her Iowa career as the most decorated Hawkeye in women’s basketball program history. She became the first Big Ten student to be named consensus national player of the year (Associated Press, ESPN, Naismith and the United States Basketball Writers Association). Gustafson was named the Honda Sport Award winner for basketball and was one of three finalists for the Honda Cup, given to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. She owns 16 Iowa school records including career marks for points (2,804) and rebounds (1,460). Gustafson was named the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Player of the Year and Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player in leading the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten Tournament title. She was awarded Iowa’s Big Ten Medal of Honor and Iowa Female Athlete of the Year in May. Gustafson led the nation in five categories as a senior including points per game (27.8), field goal percentage (69.6), total points (1,001) and double-doubles (33). She also holds the conference career records for rebounds (1,460), field goal percentage (.657) and double-doubles (88).
Nickal is the first Penn State student to be named Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year since fellow wrestler David Taylor was honored in 2014. He is the third Penn State male student to be recognized and 11th wrestler to win the award. Nickal was the 2019 NCAA champion at 197 pounds and was honored with the 2019 Dan Hodge Trophy as the most outstanding college wrestler of the year. Nickal was named the 2019 Co-Big Ten Wrestler of the Year (with teammate Jason Nolf) following a season in which he claimed his third Big Ten title. Overall, he was 120-3 at Penn State with 59 pins, 12 technical falls and 23 majors. He was 19-1 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, winning three national titles. He earned the 2019 NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler accolade as he finished his senior season with a perfect 30-0 record. Nickal was part of four consecutive NCAA championship teams with the Nittany Lions, winning the crown in each of his competitive seasons at Penn State.
Gustafson and Nickal were among a field of nominees that included 11 national champions, 25 All-Americans, 16 Big Ten champions, 14 individuals who won Big Ten Player of the Year honors and six who collected a national player of the year accolade.
Nominees from Illinois were Devin Quinn from track and field and Jordyn Poulter from volleyball.