The Danbury Central College Dimes have not been in the playoff conversation at all this season, and are suffering a terrible season, placed last in the Can-Am’s New England Conference with a dismal 16-24 record. But their players are still playing like it matters, especially as the draft date slowly approaches.
Brian Vance (2B), a 21-year-old junior for the Dimes has struggled offensively all season as well, and likely won’t reach a top round draft pick should he enter this year’s amateur draft. But he had a stellar game tonight in a hard-fought game against Kentucky School of Distilling, in which Vance hit for the cycle and the Dimes earned a rare win.
Vance had an inauspicious start, making his first plate appearance to lead off the third inning, and earning a walk but later being left stranded on second. He was up again in the fifth inning and swatted a 3-2 pitch to left, in what should have been an easy pop out that ended up muffed, earning him another base on an error. He scored on the following hitter’s triple.
Finally, Vance earned his way on base with a single in the sixth inning, and then doubled in the eighth. As the ninth inning closed, the game was tied up at 4-4, and Vance was up again in the 11th inning, swatting a lead-off triple to left field on a 3-1 pitch. Still tied up in the top of the 13th, Vance capped his cycle with a vicious lead-off 423-foot homer to the center-left alley, putting the Dimes ahead 5-4 and earning player of the game honors.
Brian Vance is hitting .229 so far this year, and his extra base hits tonight were his first double, triple and homer all season. Though he has been underwhelming offensively, Vance has been excellent at his position on the field, and has yet to make an error.