The Hannibal Hoots defeated Danville in both games of a road doubleheader Sunday to grow their winning streak to six.
As the temperatures rose over the past week, the Hannibal Hoots decided it would be a good time to elevate their game.
Hannibal recorded just four wins through the first four weeks of the summer. On Sunday, the team swept a doubleheader from West Division foe Danville, running its winning streak to six games and improving to 10-17 for the season.
Hannibal notched a 7-2 win in the first game, before completing the sweep with a 5-2 victory in the nightcap.
“Hopefully we can keep this momentum moving forward and keep the guys feeling confident and fresh,” Hoots manager Clayton Hicks said.
The Hoots overcame 2-0 deficits in both seven-inning games.
In the first game, Danville plated single runs in the first two innings for the early lead.
Aaron Goecks put Hannibal on the board in the third inning with an RBI triple scoring Josh Lane — who had been hit by a pitch.
The Hoots took control with a five-run fifth inning.
Walks to Daunte DeCello, Lane and Jose Mercado loaded the bases with no outs.
Goecks delivered his second straight RBI hit to tie the game.
Then the Hoots got some help from the Dans.
Dylan Dodd hit a grounder that could not be fielded cleanly by the Danville shortstop to score the go-ahead run. On the same play, a throwing error by the center fielder allowed two more runs to score.
After a Zak Whalin single, Patrick Donohue knocked in the final run of the frame as he hit into a fielder's choice.
The Hoots collected just two hits in the five-run frame.
Hicks mentioned it was nice to be on the right side of an inning like the fifth.
“We are using our speed on the diamond and making teams beat us and that is what we were able to do tonight, whereas in the beginning of the summer we were the ones making the mistakes and beating ourselves,” the Hoots manager said.
In the second game, the Dans struck for a pair of runs in the first inning and kept the lead until the top of the fourth.
Connor Pasko delivered a two-out, two-run single to tie the contest.
An inning later, Mercado and Joe Roscetti came up with RBI singles to give the Hoots a 4-2 lead.
Mercado also swiped a pair of bases in the frame.
Hannibal recorded an insurance run in the sixth inning after Quincy Notre Dame grad Johnny Ray balked, scoring Chris Iazetta.
Quinton Kujawa picked up the win on the mound as he tossed a complete game.
After allowing back-to-back triples to the first two batters of the game, Kujawa allowed just two more hits the rest of the way.
Kujawa’s complete game followed 6 ⅓ innings of solid pitching from Victor Gotay in the first game.
“We have received quality starts from the entire pitching staff over this six-game winning streak,” Hicks stated. “Quinton and Victor were both fantastic today as they both continue to get better every time out.”
Danville (15-13) committed five errors in the first game and issued five walks and a hit batter in the nightcap.
“That pretty much sums up the two games,” a dejected Dans coach Eric Coleman said of his pitching and fielding.
Hannibal is scheduled to host division-leading Terre Haute at Clemens Field on Monday. The Rex have the best record in the league at 18-8.