Danville Post 210 moving on

Danville Post 210 moving on

RANTOUL — The chance to sleep in their own beds isn't lost on the Danville Post 210 Senior Legion baseball team this week.

Much to their chagrin.

"To be honest, they're a little bit disappointed that they're not in a hotel this week," Post 210 manager Allan Shepherd said. "As their coach, I would normally like to know where they're at during a tournament like this, but I trust them. They're a good group."

On and off the field.

Post 210 kept its dream of a second straight state title intact with a come-from-behind 7-5 victory on Thursday afternoon against Barrington Post 158 at Wabash Park.

Post 210 (34-2) faces Edwardsville Post 199 (38-8) at 2 p.m. today, with the winner moving on to Saturday's 10:30 a.m. state title game and clinching a spot in next week's Great Lakes Regional in Napoleon, Ohio.

If Post 210 stumbles for the first time at the state tournament, Danville would face either Peoria Post 2 (23-7) or Barrington (30-3) in an elimination game tonight at 5:30.

"We've played Edwardsville twice already this season, and it should be another good game," Shepherd said. "Edwardsville has a very, very sound team that hits the ball well."

But so does Danville.

Post 210's offense came through in clutch fashion on Thursday. Trailing 5-4 after eight innings, Oakwood rising senior Chase Vinson uncorked a solo home run to lead off the top of the ninth inning and tie the game at 5.

"Chase set the table for us by doing that," Shepherd said.

And then Dylan Dodd cleaned it up for Post 210. The Bismarck-Henning graduate, who helped Kankakee Community College win an NJCAA Division II national title this past season, drilled a two-run home run for the go-ahead runs and to stake Post 210 to a 7-5 lead.

"I knew that if Dodd got the opportunity, he was going to hit it hard," Shepherd said. "He saw his pitch on this at-bat and drove it."

The sudden offensive barrage by Post 210 — which came after Danville took an early 2-0 lead before Barrington rallied back to stay in front as the game moved along towards the late innings — was more than enough for Josh Kimbro.

The right-hander and Salt Fork graduate, who pitches at Parkland during the school year, picked up the win in relief.

"Josh closed every game for us in the postseason last year," Shepherd said. "The kid doesn't know pressure. If he does, he doesn't show it. I normally only have him throw one inning, but I went to him in the eighth this time, and when we went out in the ninth, he wanted it."

Post 210 only needs one more win in the double-elimination tournament to secure a spot in Ohio next week, with the top two teams from Wabash Park moving on.

Danville will throw Oakwood graduate Taylor Turner against Edwardsville today as the right-hander tries to nail down a spot in the state title game and assure its season continues past this weekend.

"The experience most of these guys on the team got last year by winning a state title really shined through (on Thursday)," Shepherd said. "They don't get rattled. They don't get down. I didn't have any doubts we'd put something together in the ninth."

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