DANVILLE — Protecting the home turf is one of the keys to a successful season according to Danville manager Eric Coleman.
In the last week, the Dans have taken that to heart.
Danville extended its home win streak to five games with a doubleheader sweep of the DuPage Pistol Shrimp, 5-2 and 9-1 on Thursday night at Danville Stadium.
"Sweeping a doubleheader is one of the hardest things to do in baseball,'' said Coleman, whose team improved to 9-4 on the season.
With those wins, Danville is now in first place in the Prospect League East Division and the Dans share the best record in the league with the Cape Catfish.
Second baseman Andrew Meggs, a sophomore-to-be from Creighton University, has been a part of the last four wins for Danville.
In those games, Meggs is batting .667 (8-of-12) and he has driven in eight RBIs with at least one RBI in each one of his four games with the Dans.
"I'm just trying to get the guys in that are on base and help the team win,'' said Meggs, who batted .241 with three RBIs this spring at Creighton. "I felt I had a pretty good swing, but I've hit the ball better since I got here compared to school.''
And why is that?
"I'm trying to figure that out so that I can keep doing it when I get back to school this fall,'' Meggs said. "Maybe, it's being a part of a new team and the fact that I'm excited to be here.''
Coleman says that Meggs comes from a good baseball family.
His uncle, Lindsey Meggs, is the head coach at the University of Washington, while two of his cousins have played Division I baseball.
"He is a battler and a gamer,'' Coleman said. "I coached one of his cousins in pro baseball. He also comes from a good high school program (Leland High School in San Jose).
"He reminds me of Jimmy Govern, not as much pop, but he will put the ball in play and grind out at-bats.''
Govern was a 2017 member of the Danville Dans and he was the 30th round selection of the Kansas City Royals.
Meggs has been pleasantly surprised with his start to the Prospect League season after being on a Creighton team that was in the NCAA Tournament, falling to Michigan in the regional finals in Corvallis, Ore.
"I have simple goals. I want to help the team win, get better every day and be ready when I get back to school this fall,'' he said.
In the opener, the Dans scored five times in the fifth inning and that proved to be enough offense.
"We finally woke up,'' Coleman said. "I guess we were a little flat coming off the rain out. We battled and did what we needed to do — we got the win.
"We can't come out flat. We got lucky in that one. We have to come ready to play every single night. We were fortunate to get that win.''
DANS ON DECK
Game 1 final score — Danville Dans 5, DuPage Pistol Shrimp 4
Game 2 final score — Danville Dans 9, DuPage Pistol Shrimp 1
Game 1 key player — Left fielder Max Jung-Goldberg went 1-for-2 with a two-run double in the five-run fifth inning.
Game 2 key player — Reliever Tanner Green struck out seven in the final three innings to pick up the save.
Up next — The Dans and the Pistol Shrimp will continue their five-game series with a 7:05 p.m. contest tonight at the Benedictine Sports Complex in Lisle.
Probable starters — Danville: LHP Hunter Freese (0-0, 2.70 ERA); DuPage: RHP Jackson Ertz (0-0, 5.00 ERA).
Next home game — The Dans will return to Danville Stadium on Saturday for a 6:30 p.m. contest against the DuPage Pistol Shrimp.
Promotion — Dad's Night: Celebrate Father's Day with special food combos and play catch on the field with dad after the game.