DANVILLE — The scoreboard operator at Danville Stadium has gotten a workout in the 17 home games this season for the Danville Dans.
That was until Tuesday night.
Terre Haute starter Tommy Sommer and four relievers combined to toss a six-hit shutout as the Rex defeated the Dans 3-0 before a crowd of 4,163 at Danville Stadium.
“That’s something we are not used to,’’ said Danville first baseman Cade Brown, who went 2-for-4 at the plate with a single and a double. “We normally get runs on the board for our pitchers. We weren’t able to do that tonight.
“Their pitchers threw a helluva a game and all we can do is look forward to our next game with them.’’
Not only was the shutout the first this season at Danville Stadium for the Dans, it was their first in 34 games this summer. Danville’s previous low for run scored was two in a a 6-2 loss to the Lafayette Aviators at Danville Stadium on June 4.
“That’s not good, especially at home,’’ Danville manager Eric Coleman said. “Hopefully, we bounce back tomorrow and start a new streak. We didn’t protect our house.
“Their guys did a good job of keeping us off-balanced. But I also thought that our pitcher competed and kept us in the game.’’
Danville left-hander Jack DeCooman started and threw four shutout innings.
Terre Haute got all of its offense in the fifth and sixth innings, with only one of its three runs being earned.
“Anytime, your pitchers only give up three runs, you should have a chance of winning,’’ said Coleman, as his pitchers only surrender four hits and they only walked two batters. “We also need to do a better job of playing catch.
“Ultimately, they got the bit hit when they needed it.’’
That wasn’t the case for the Dans, who fall to 25-9 on the season, but Danville still has the Prospect League’s best record and its lead in the East Division drops to three games over Chillicothe.
Danville had an excellent opportunity to score in the second inning against Sommer.
Brad Powers led off the inning with a walk and he advanced to second on a single by Craig Keuchel. But Sommer got out the jam with a strikeout and two fly outs.
“Shutouts happen to even the best teams,’’ said Brown. “Every once and while, you will run into a brick wall. It’s frustrating, but you know it might happen at some point. All you can do is bring your best for the next game.’’
Brown pointed out that this was the first meeting with Sommer this summer.
Just eight days ago in Terre Haute, the Dans scored five runs on four hits in 5.2 innings against Sommer.
“We saw him the last time we played them,’’ Brown said. “He just had our number tonight. We didn’t adjust. It was a mixture of everything, but more than anything it was us.
“We should have gone to the plate with a better approach. We just have to tip our caps to him, tonight.’’
Danville had another great chance to score in the sixth against Terre Haute reliever Luke Lancaster, as the Dans got runners on first and second with one out.
This time around, Lancaster got a pair of flyouts to end that threat.
“We left some guys on base,’’ said Coleman, whose team left eight on. “It just didn’t fall our way.
“We have a bull’s eye on our backs, but we have to be ready to play when we are called upon.’’
The Dans will hit the road for five straight beginning with a 7:05 p.m (Eastern) game tonight at Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute against these same Rex.
DANS ON DECK
Final score — Terre Haute Rex 3, Danville Dans 0
Key player — Rex LHP Tommy Sommer threw five shutout innings, striking out seven and allowing just two hits to pick up his first win of the summer
Up next — The Dans travel to Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute for a 7:05 p.m. (Eastern) contest against the Rex
Probable starters — Danville: RHP Blake Malatestinic (2-2, 3.21 ERA); Terre Haute: LHP Tristan Weaver (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Next home game — The Dans will return to Danville Stadium next Tuesday for a 6:30 p.m. game with the Lafayette Aviators.
Promotion — Two-buck Tuesday with $2 admission, $2 hot dogs, $2 sodas and $2 Busch Lights.