Danville came out on the losing end of a game that began as a pitcher’s duel Thursday evening against the Springfield Sliders at Danville Stadium. The contest was tied 1-1 heading into the seventh inning, when the Sliders scored three times en route to an 8-1 win.
Springfield struck first in the top half of the opening frame. Mike McQuillan singled, stole second and scored on Ryan Mooney’s RBI single. The game stayed scoreless for the next four innings in large part to quality starting pitching. Dans starter Aaron Lambrix allowed just one run on four hits in four innings of work. He was aided by a great defensive play in the fourth inning. With one out and a runner on first, shortstop Frank Rawdow made a diving stop on a ball up the middle and made a backhanded flip to second baseman Chris Lewellyn, who barehanded the ball for the out.
Sliders starter Dillon Napolean was on top of his game as well. The right-hander allowed one run on four hit in five innings of work. His only blemish was when Dans center fielder Byron Williams knocked a two-out RBI single to center field in the fifth inning to tie the game at one apiece. Reliever Sam Dawes followed Napolean, throwing three no-hit innings and picking up the win when the Sliders came through with a big inning.
Sean Finucane and Scott Thornburg led off with singles in the seventh for Springfield. Jarred Peper then reached safely to load the bases when Danville reliever Kyle Donawerth hesitated and had no play after fielding the sacrifice bunt. TJ Blanton was hit by a pitch to force in the go-ahead run, and a wild pitch and a Mooney sacrifice fly gave the Sliders a 4-1 lead.
Springfield increased their lead with two runs in the eighth inning on a Thornburg RBI single and a Peper RBI double and added two more in the ninth.
Mooney batted 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a run. Thornburg was 3-for-5 with two runs scored, and McQuillan had two hits and two RBIs. Springfield finished with 14 hits.
Ryan Livingstone threw two scoreless innings of relief for Danville. At the plate, the Dans only had four hits. Ryan Van Amburg was 1-for-3 with a run.
Danville falls to 9-10 on the year with the loss. The Dans next home game is Saturday against Slippery Rock.