Early scores lead to Dans sweep of Mill Rats

DANVILLE, Ill. — The Danville Dans used a fast start to jump ahead and hold off the Johnstown Mill Rats for a 7-4 victory in Prospect League action on Friday night.

Johnstown out-hit Danville 11-7, but the Dans were able to capitalize on seven walks by Mill Rats starter Matthew Benton to score six runs in the first four innings. Johnstown also committed four errors on defense.

The Mill Rats, however, stayed in the game until the end by scoring one run in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to cut the Dans’ lead to 7-3.

Johnstown then had its first three runners reach in the top of the ninth, with Andrew Casey hitting an RBI single to put the deficit at 7-4. With runners on first and third and the tying run at the plate with no outs, Danville closer John Gassler struck out the next three batters to seal the victory.

Benton took the loss on the mound after lasting five innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits while striking out two. Mill Rats relievers Andrew Kribbs and Sean Furlong combined to allow just one run on two hits over the final four frames.

Andrew Casey, Matt Santarelli and DJ Alexander each tallied two hits for the Mill Rats, with Santarelli driving in two runs. Jake Casey hit an RBI single.

Johnstown (20-26, 8-7) travels to Chillicothe to conclude its six-game road trip at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night.