Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Congratulations and good luck to Coach Joe Verplancke (Dans pitching coach 08') for taking his Diamond Ranch High School team to the California State finals to be held Friday, May 30th, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angelos. Coach Verplancke attended Cal State LA where he was a 2 sport athlete (soccer and baseball). He was drafted as a pitcher after his junior year by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 8th round. Joe and his wife, Erin, reside in Corona, CA where Joe is a teacher and baseball coach.


David (Dabo) Worthington (Dans 08'), a sophomore at Danville Area Community College, has been named 1st Team All-American by the NJCAA. In addition to that honor, he has been awarded a Rawlings Gold Glove, following in the footsteps of DACC's Ben Wolgomot (Dans 06'& 07'). The Dans home opener is scheduled for June 6.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Players from six teams will be arriving late to play with the Danville Dans this summer as the NCAA has just released their field of 64.

San Diego will be playing in the Long Beach Regional. Danville Dans on the San Diego Roster include: Matt Couch 05’ , A.J. Griffin 07’, James Meador 07’, Ricardo Pecina 06’, and Zach Walters 08’. Two Danville Dans can be found on the Dirt Bags roster, Brandon Godfrey 07’, and David Born 06’.

LSU will host a regional. Dans on the Tiger roster are: Ryan Byrd 05’, Austin Ross 08’, Ryan Schimpf 07’, Johnny Dishon 08’, and Louis Coleman 07’.

Pepperdine will be playing in the Stanford regional. Dans on the Waves include: Denny Duron 06’, Matt Bywater 08’, Trent Diedrich 07’, Tyler Hess 08’ and David Harris 06’,

The Louisville Cardinals will be playing in the Georgia regional. Drew Haynes 08’ Dans, Jon Clarence 08’, and Louisville assistant coach Xan Barksdale 02’). Steve Esmonde 07’ plays for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Vanderbilt will play in the Arizona State regional. The roster includes 08’ Dan, Richie Goodenow. The Arizona State team includes Dan Kiel Roling (07’) and catcher Andrew Pollak 08’.

Other Dans include Bryce Stowall 06’, who plays for U.C. Irvine, who will be playing in the Nebraska regional, and Ole’ Miss Rebels Justin Cryer (05') and Evan Button (06’) who will be playing in the Miami regional.

Regional play begins May 30th and runs thru June 2nd.


As the 2008 college season begins to wind down, Danville Dans continue to rack up honors and assist their colleges in tournament play.

LSU’s Ryan Schimpf (Dans 07’) was named to the SEC (Southeastern Conference) All-Tournament Team. In the championship game, Schimpf was 2-4 with a double that scored 2 runners and prompted the Ole’Miss pitcher’s exit from the game. LSU defeated Ole’ Miss 8 to 2 and will host an NCAA regional. As a side note, Louis Coleman (Dans 06’-pictured) entered the game in the 4th inning and was brilliant in relief. He improved his record to 6-0 as he allowed just 3 hits in 6 innings with no walks and 7 strikeouts, 3 of those in the 9th.

Drury Universities, LHP Chris Marston (Dans 08’) was named All-GLVC (Great Lakes Valley Conference).

Purdue’s Jon Moore (Dans 06’) and Dan Black (Dans 07’) were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team. Purdue fell to top-seed Michigan 3-2 in the tournament championship game. RHP Tony Sedlmeyer (Dans 08’) was the starting pitcher and put zeros on the Michigan scoreboard through four innings before the Wolverines broke through with an unearned run in the 5th.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Those that enter Danville Stadium’s office and spend time looking at history laden walls, will see a large picture of some “Legends” of the game. It is one of only two pictures that do not include Danville Stadium (1946) alumni. It is signed by Coach Ron Polk (Mississippi State) to the Danville Dans.

In 1989, a newly formed Danville Stadium organization began looking for a summer coach for the Dans. Coach Polk made the short list of nationally acclaimed coaches to call and, as always, was anxious to help a young coach and a young program. He sent Mike Hutcheon (currently Head Coach U.S. Air Force Academy Falcons), who coached the Dans for the next four years. On two occasions we have asked Coach to come to Danville and speak to state and national youth tournaments. Both times his immediate response was “when, where, and what time.” We feel blessed to enjoy such a partnership!

Coach Polk and his staff have sent us 57 players over the last 19 years. His players unfailingly display a respect for the game, their teammates, their coaches and others around them. When you ask them how they feel about being an MSU Bulldog, you frequently hear them say “I’m lucky.”

So – what will baseball ultimately say about Coach Polk? Currently, those active coaches/scouts who have worked under his tutorage include: 14 college head coaches, 5 college assistant coaches, 14 high school coaches, 11 professional scouts, and 8 professional coaches.

He is the all-time winningest coach in SEC history having won 1,360 games as a head coach. Of his last 34 teams, he guided 23 to NCAA regionals, including 5 straight from 2003-2007. He has taken 8 clubs to the College World Series. He has been honored twice as National Coach of the Year, inducted into 4 Hall of Fames, and was honored by his peers as the recipient of the Lefty Gomez Award (ABCA).

Looking again at that picture on the wall, it is our opinion, that he is a “legend”, not because of his coaching record, but because of the incredible number of lives he has impacted in a positive way. It’s a safe bet his friends and alumni will still get hand written notes from Coach, that he will continue to speak out to protect the sport and the student athlete, and that the seeds he has sown will continue to grow and flourish for a lifetime to come.

So, we wish Coach well in his retirement and give a heartfelt thanks for his loyalty and friendship. Like his players, if someone asks how we feel about working with Ron Polk, we will tell them we were lucky – and incredibly honored. Thanks Coach! And stay in touch.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Dan Kaczrowski (Dans 08), 2nd baseman for Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, has been named DIII All-American by the NCAA to go along with his MIAC honor as league co-player of the year. Kaczrowski hit .477 for the Pipers with 40 RBI and 54 runs scored. Dan is the son of Tom and Mary Kaczrowski and is from St. Anthony, MN.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Ben Wolgamot, 2nd baseman Purdue, (Dans 06,07) has been selected 1st team All-Big 10, finishing league play hitting .426 and .409 overall. In conference play, Wolgamot led all other Big Ten 2nd basemen in on base percentage (.538), runs scored (30) and walks (21). A DHS & DACC product, Ben was 7 for 9 in stolen bases and contributed 27 RBI's to the Boilermakers. Congratulations Ben!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Schimpf Honored

16th ranked LSU 2nd baseman Ryan Schimpf (Dans 07') has been named SEC Player of the Week.

The Covington, LA native batted .545 in the weekend series against Mississippi State with 1 double, 3 homers, 7 RBI and 7 runs scored. Ryan also walked 4 times, posted a .667 on-base % and a 1.455 slugging %.

Schimpf launched a 3 run homer to highlight Friday's win. He then unloaded 2 homers on Saturday - a solo blast in the 5th and a 3 run dinger in the 8th.


Sophomore All-American closer AJ Griffin (Dans 07'- San Diego) is one of 12 players nationwide who has accepted an invitation to the 2008 National Team Trails to be held June 11-23. In all, 32 players will be invited to the trials, with 22 being selected for the National Team Roster.

USA Baseball's 2008 National Team schedule includes a 6 game series against Chinese Taipei and a month-long trip to Europe where the team will compete in Haarlem Baseball Week in the Netherlands and in the IV FISU World Collegiate Baseball Championship in the Szech Republic.

While with the Dans, AJ led the team with 4 saves to go along with 4 wins. He struck out 43 in 31 innings of work and sported a 2.61 ERA. A 6-5 sophomore from El Cajon, Calif., has become the all-time leader in career-saves at USD with 23, 12 of which have come during this season. Griffin has been named the WCC Pitcher of the Week twice this season and has a 1-1 record with a 2.08 ERA in 39.0 innings of work this season.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Dans fans often ask why there is such a difference between hitting with wood and hitting with aluminum. It starts with the fact that aluminum bats are hollow, wood bats are solid. Because of the way weight is distributed, the balance point is closer to the handle for an aluminum bat than for a wood bat.

An aluminum bat is more efficient at hitting an inside pitch. In other words, the “sweet spot” of an aluminum bat is longer than that of a wood bat. For balls not hit squarely on the sweet spot, an aluminum bat is more “forgiving” and players can still make good contact on inside pitches. A wood bat, since it is solid, has most of the weight concentrated in the barrel, which means the center of gravity is further from the hands.

Because of these differences, college players, who have almost exclusively used aluminum, have an adjustment period when moving from aluminum to wood. In effect, either in summer leagues or professional baseball, players have to learn, or relearn, the proper way to hit an inside pitch.

This is clearly illustrated by looking at CICL statistics. From 1987 to 1989, the CICL used aluminum. The league averaged 12.3 runs/game and 18.0 hits/game. The League batting average was .288.

In 1990 the league switched to wood. Since that time, the league has averaged 9.1 runs/game (down 36%) and 16.2 hits/game (down 11%). The CICL batting average is now .254 (down 15%).

The pitcher's ERA’s, however, moved from 5.71 in 1987-89 to 3.82 (down 50%). The average game length went from 3.5 hours to 2.5 hours (down 40%). Good pitching and good defense dominate the game.

The Danville Dans open at home on Friday, June 6 against the league’s newest franchise, the Springfield Sliders. The game begins at 6:30 PM. Fireworks, sponsored by Danville Township and the Vermilion County Federation of Labor, will follow the game.

Friday, May 2, 2008


San Diego sophomore outfielder, James Meador (Dans 2007), has been named Player of the Month by the West Coast Conference. Meador helped lead San Diego to a 16-2 record for the month of April when he batted .413 going 31 for 75. James also clubbed 5 home runs and drove in 29 runs with 16 runs scored, to go along with five doubles and 2 triples.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

YOUR 2008 DANS ARE.......

Greg Houston, P, R/R, Mississippi State
Matt Bywater, P, L/L, Pepperdine University
Jon Clarence, P, R/L, University of Louisville
Johnny Dishon,OF, R/R, LSU
Dan Evatt, OF/1B, R/R, Baylor
John Flanagan, P, L/L, Southwest Il College
John Foley, P, L/R, University of Evansville
Richie Goodenow, P, L/L, Vanderbilt
Drew Haynes, OF, L/L, University of Louisville
Tyler Hess, P/DH, R/R, Pepperdine
Dan Kaczrowski, IF, R/R, Hamline University
Brooks Kimmey, C, R/R, Baylor
Chris Lewellyn, IF, R/R, DACC
Jon Lilly, OF, L/R, Purdue
Chris Marston, P, R/R, Drury University
Lee Swindle, P/1B, R/R, Mississippi State
Tyler Park, IF, R/R, Cisco Jr. College
Andrew Pollak, C, R/R, Arizona State
Austin Ross, P, L/R, LSU
Worth Tate, P, R/R, Memphis
Zach Walters, SS, S/R, San Diego
David Worthington, 1B/OF, R/R, DACC