DANVILLE — Even though the Danville Dans know their postseason fate as the regular season winds down, that doesn’t mean that their job is done.
The Dans, who clinched a playoff spot on Sunday evening with a 6-2 win over the Chillicothe Paints, they still share first place in the Prospect League’s East Division with those same Paints.
The opponent on Monday night was the Terre Haute Rex and riding the heels of a masterful pitching performance by Kahi Bisho, the Dans kept themselves at the top of the division standings with a 6-1 win at historic Danville Stadium.
The Dans broke open a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fifth with a five-run inning, more than enough for Bisho, who was cruising before being lifted due to a pitch count limit.
Bisho, who pitched six no-hit innings, only surrendered one run and struck out three batters and walked four.
“I did my best to try and get ahead in the count and miss the bat every time, and I got a lot of ground ball outs early, which helped keep my pitch count low,” said Bisho on his performance and the strategy he used.
Bisho is coming back from an injury and feels like that he’s back to 100 percent. He also commended his teammates for giving him a lead to work with.
“It’s always good to pitch with the lead, and that five-spot was really huge,’’ he said. “It allowed me to relax and go out to the mound and finish my evening.”
The Dans scored their first run by playing some small ball, as Andrew Meggs led off the inning by drawing a walk, then advanced to second and was sacrificed to third on a fly out to right off the bat of Gavin Dugas. Ryan Archibald followed with a single, scoring Meggs, and the game was tied.
The Dans played long ball in their five-run inning, as both Carson Ford and Max Jung-Goldberg left the yard. Following a 15-pitch at-bat by Danville catcher Steven Kokoski, Ford came up and the second pitch he saw sailed over the fence, giving the Dans a lead that they would never relinquish.
“It (the home run) was awesome, and it was part of a big inning, and it’s been great these past few days knowing that we are in the playoffs, but we’ve got more work to do to ensure that our awesome fans get a chance to see us play at home in the postseason,” Ford said on his first home run of the season, as well as the importance of the games leading up to the playoffs, which begin on Thursday.
Ford finished the game with 2 hits in four trips to the plate, while Jung-Goldberg and Ford each drove in two runs for the Dans (39-20), who maintain their stranglehold on first place in the division as the regular season winds down.
“I think it’s great that we’ve been able to get in the playoffs, but there is more work to be done. We control our own destiny, and we play better at home, so we want to make sure that we get home field advantage for the playoffs,” Danville manager Eric Coleman said after the game on his team’s playoff berth, but also knowing that the job is not totally complete yet.
With the Chillicothe Paints 10-1 win over West Virginia on Monday, the Dans and Paints carry identical 39-20 records into the final regular season contest. The task is simple, a Dans win over the Rex tonight and Danville will host Thursday’s playoff game with Chillicothem as the Dans own the tiebreaker with the Paints.
But a Chillicothe win tonight over West Virginia and a Danville loss to Terre Haute, the Paints will be at home on Thursday for the one-game playoff.
Dans 6Paints 2
CHILLICOTHE — Cameron Aufderhiede and Carson Haws had impressive debuts with the Danville Dans on Sunday.
That duo combined to hold the Paints to just two runs and six singles in the Dans playoff clinching victory at VA Memorial Stadium.
Aufderhiede got the victory, while Haws struck out six in three innings on his way to the save.
Sam Crail went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, while Jalen Jones came off the bench with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
DANS ON DECK
Final score — Danville Dans 6, Terre Haute Rex 1
Key player — Right-hander Kahi Bisho allowed one run and no hits in six innings to pick up his first win of the summer season.
Up next — Danville concludes the regular season at home with a 6:30 p.m. contest against the Terre Haute Rex.
Probable starters — Terre Haute: LHP Wyatt Joy (0-0, 12.60 ERA); Danville: TBD
Promotion No. 1 — Two-buck Tuesday. $2 admission, $2 hot dogs, $2 sodas and $2 Busch Lights.
Promotion No. 2 — Fan Appreciation Night. Anyone buying a ticket will get a coupon for a free 2020 ticket as well.