Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dans top Dubois County to take Prospect League opener

The Dans used speed, a timely hit and a few helpful walks to win their Prospect League opener Thursday night in Danville.

Austin Green’s RBI single to right field with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Danville a 3-2 win over the Dubois County Bombers. The rally started when Byron Williams drew a one-out walk and stole second. Williams then took third base on a passed ball on ball four to Frankie Rawdow. Following that, Ryan Van Amburg was intentionally walked and David “Dabo” Washington struck out to set up Green’s heroics that moved Danville to 1-0 on the season.

Aaron Lambrix took the win in relief for the Dans by striking out the side on just 11 pitches in a scoreless ninth inning. Brett Merkley took the loss for the Bombers, who fell to 0-1.

Dubois County opened the scoring in the fourth inning with the help of some shaky defense from the Dans. The Bombers’ Daniel Nichols and Brennan Malham reached on errors to open the inning. With one out, Nichols scored on a slow-rolling RBI groundout to second base off the bat of Sean Estand.

The Dans responded in the bottom half with a run of their own. Worthington walked to lead off the inning, then stole second. Worthington advanced to third base on Austin Green’s single to left before scoring on Jason Hamm’s RBI groundout to shortstop.

Starting pitcher James Murrey was strong in four innings of work for Danville. Murrey allowed just one run, which was unearned, on four hits and no walks while striking out six. Jacob Lee threw three innings of relief and struck out five and walked three without allowing a hit. The only trouble Lee ran into was in the fifth, when he walked the Bombers’ John Hotto to lead off the inning. Hotto quickly stole second and third before scoring on a passed ball to give Dubois County a 2-1 lead.

But Lee settled down from there, and Kyle Donawerth threw a scoreless eighth inning to set up the Dans’ rally in the bottom half, when Van Amburg, Green and Jason Hamm each drew walks in the span of four batters to load the bases. Cody Yount then took four straight pitches out of the zone to tie the game 2-2.

There wasn’t much scoring early, as Dubois County starter Shawn Marquardt allowed one run on three hits and three walks in six innings while striking out three. Reliever Joe Ochs allowed a run in 1 2/3 innings before being replaced by Merkley, who was charged with the ninth-inning run and the loss. Merkley struggled with his control, walking four in 2/3 innings of work.

Green, who plays his college ball at San Diego, led the Dans on offense, as he went 2-for-4 with a walk and the game-winning RBI. Worthington was 1-for-4 with a walk, a run and a stolen base. The Dans had just four hits in the game but did draw 11 walks. The Danville pitchers combined to strike out 15 Bombers batters.

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