CHARLESTON — Danville Post 210 manager Allan Shepherd has an old-school approach to baseball.
He likes his team to be able to play small ball, using speed and execution to produce runs — all that includes the squeeze bunt.
"I trust one through nine to put a squeeze down,'' said Shepherd referring to the nine batters in his lineup.
First baseman Jake Stipp had missed both of his attempts this summer.
But when his manager called for it on Wednesday, the left-handed hitter executed perfectly to give the Speakers a lead they would never relinquish as Danville advanced past the first round of the Great Lakes Regional with a 7-4 triumph over Swoyersville (Pa.) at Coaches Stadium in Charleston.
"It's doing what we can to win,'' said Stipp, when asked to describe "team baseball'' — the motto of the Post 210 Speakers.
"(Shepherd) gave me the squeeze sign and I'm just doing my best to get it down,'' said Stipp of his situation in a 3-3 tie. "I've had a couple of squeezes that I haven't gotten down this year. So, I was focused on getting it down this time.
"I was fortunate enough to be safe at first.''
What was different this time?
"I was seeing it better,'' he said. "I was prepared and I watching the ball off the bat.''
A pretty simple approach to one of the forgotten aspects of the game.
Shepherd believes it's a lost art and he's not the only one.
"I was talking to third base umpire (Eric Harmon of Monticello, Ind.) and he said, 'it's a lost art and it's fun to see it again'," Shepherd said. "I guess I'm one of the old guys, now, because that's the way I still like to coach.''
While the bunting game created some of the Post 210 offense, it wasn't the only way that the Speakers (32-7-1) put runs on the board.
After falling behind 3-0, Danville closed within 3-2 on a single by Chase Vinson, followed by an RBI double by Logan Spicer, who would score on a Stipp ground out.
"We've been there before,'' said Stipp of trailing 3-0. "The last three wins, we were down. We just keep grinding and keep battling.''
Shepherd admitted that he wasn't worried at all when Swoyersville (26-5) scored twice in the first inning and an added another run in the third.
"I have been staying it since the division tournament, they are battle tested,'' Shepherd said. "With that kid on the mount (Vinson), every once and while, he has a slow start especially if he didn't get all of the time he needed to warm up.
"But there was no doubt in my mind that if we could hold them under five — they were in trouble.''
Vinson, who allowed four runs, only three earned over six innings to pick up the win, also did his part at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored.
"There were a couple of unlucky bounces, here and there,'' said Vinson, noting that Swoyersville leadoff batter started the game with a chopper over Spicer at third base. "In those first two innings, just some things didn't go our way, but I knew we would bounce back.''
And it was Vinson that got things started for Danville.
"I knew I had to find a way on base and I had to spark something,'' said Vinson of his at-bat to lead off the second inning.
The Speakers added a couple of insurance runs in the fifth with a Vinson RBI-triple and a run-scoring single from Spicer.
"Vinson and Spicer got it started in the second inning,'' Shepherd said. "Those are the two guys that you want to spark plug your team.
"I knew once we got them going, we could play a little small ball and doing our game. I think we got them off-balance.''
Gage Romack recorded the final three outs, the last two coming on a double play by Kotah Broeker and Ernest Plummer.
With the win, Danville advances into the second round and a matchup against Lyon County of Kentucky at 2 p.m. today in Charleston.
Swoyersville will play Hempfield East in a elimination game at 8:30 a.m.
In other first-round games, Bevely-Lowell (Ohio) defeated Gladwin (Mich.) and Terre Haute blasted Charleston 12-1.