TERRE HAUTE —
A constant theme repeated by Terre Haute Rex manager Brian Dorsett is how his summer-league collegians adjust to the everyday schedule, rather than the four or five-game slates they’re used to.
While the context for that theme is usually something a player needs to improve in his own game, there are also fun everyday lessons to learn — such as what it feels like to be on a day-to-day roll.
That’s what the Rex are currently on. An 11-5 victory over Springfield on Sunday propelled the Rex to their fourth consecutive win and a 4-0 record in a five-game homestand.
“We’re out every day and we’re out here early working,” said Rex first baseman Michael Schroeder, who was 3-for-5 with five RBI on Sunday. “We’re throwing, we’re running, we’re playing defense. It’s paying off.”
The Rex find themselves in first place in the second half Prospect League West Division race with a 4-1 record.
The Rex wasted no time putting down a marker. A pair of walks got Terre Haute’s three-run first inning started. After Kyle Kempf and Nick Johnson walked, Michael Schroeder knocked in Kempf with a double to make it 1-0. Red-hot Brian Norwood knocked in Johnson and Schroeder with a single to make it 3-0.
The Rex added another run in the third as Kempf scored on a Schroeder ground out. It was 5-0 after the fifth inning when Schroeder knocked in Kempf again, this time via a single to center field.
Terre Haute starter William Robinson went 51⁄3 innings and struck out seven, but the Sliders got to him in the sixth. Springfield scored three in the frame, but the Rex got out of trouble when Clay Manering induced a double play to end the inning.
The Rex padded their lead to 7-3 in the bottom half of the sixth thanks to a two-run double by Edmund Cheatham.
“We took advantage of the mistakes pitchers were making. It was 5-3 and Cheatham comes up big with a double on a hanging breaking ball. That’s what we have to take advantage of,” Dorsett said.
Terre Haute scored an unusual run in a two-run seventh. With the bases loaded, Michael Eberle fouled out to Springfield catcher Matthew Stevens, who made the catch near the Sliders’ dugout. Stevens was late to get back behind the plate, and with no one covering the plate, Tanner Glore took off from third and executed a rare straight steal of home.
The Rex added two more runs in the eighth as Springfield’s bullpen surrendered four runs in two innings.
“There’s nothing wrong with winning big. There’s nothing wrong with distancing yourself from the pack. I think that’s what this team is starting to understand,” Dorsett said.
The Rex finish their five-game homestand at 7 p.m. tonight against the Sliders.
• Late Saturday — Rex starter Nick Cunningham allowed just two hits over 6 2⁄3 innings of work as Terre Haute cruised to an 8-2 victory over Springfield.
Kempf was 2-for-4 with four RBI. Nick Johnson scored on a balk in the first and drove in a run in the third to put the Rex in front to stay.
After Springfield cut the Terre Haute lead to 4-2 in the seventh, the Rex responded with a three-run bottom of the seventh. Jacob Hayes scored on a wild pitch and Kempf’s two-run single provided the runs.