TERRE HAUTE —
In a Wednesday loss at Quincy, the Terre Haute Rex had it reinforced to them how damaging errors can be. A pair of Rex errors contributed to an eight-run seventh inning for the Gems which propelled them to a come-from-behind victory.
On Thursday at Bob Warn Field, the Rex got to see how the other half lives.
Terre Haute reaped the bounty of three Danville errors in the second inning. The Rex made the Dans pay for each of their errors with eight base hits in the inning and Terre Haute never looked back on its way to an 11-4 victory in front of sweltering crowd of 669.
“You have to have a short memory in baseball. It’s always an adjustment for these players who are learning to play everyday. I think we’re beginning to see that and our work ethic is beginning to bear that out,” Rex manager Brian Dorsett said.
Though it’s early in the second half of the Prospect League season, the victory was important for the Rex (2-1 second half) as Danville had won its first two games in the second half. Terre Haute’s win helped it pull even with Danville in the West Division second half race.
Terre Haute also didn’t need to tax its bullpen, which struggled in the first two games of the second half.
“It was nice to not have those guys in the bullpen work so much,” Dorsett said. “We need all of those guys to stay fresh.”
Starting pitcher Tommy Strunc pitched seven innings and struck out seven as he scattered three runs.
“My fastball is always best at the start of the game, but later in the game, my slider and change-up was what I threw. When they started getting hits off my fastball, it was time for off-speed. That slider and change-up came up for me in some big moments,” said Strunc, whose season ERA is now 2.23.
Danville and Terre Haute traded runs in the first before the Rex breakthrough came in the second.
Brian Norwood led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a stolen base and Danville throwing error. Kyle Zimmerman then laced a triple to right-center to score Norwood. Zimmerman scored himself on another throwing error and Terre Haute had a 3-1 lead.
The deluge began in earnest from there. Spencer Mahoney singled and scored on a Patrick Chandler single and error on Dans center fielder Christopher Newcomb.
Chandler was one of eight consecutive Rex batters to reach base safely. Kyle Kempf and Nick Johnson followed with singles of their own — Johnson’s scored Chandler to make it 5-1. A two-run double by Michael Schroeder made it 7-1. Norwood batted again later in the inning and drove in a run to make it 8-1.
Danville would not threaten for the remainder of the game.
Seven of the nine Rex starters had at least one base hit. Johnson was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Zimmerman was 3-for-4 with one RBI. Schroeder had three RBI.
• Game time changes — Tonight’s home game against Danville and Saturday’s home game against Springfield have been changed to 8 p.m. due to the extreme heat.
• Rex have six Prospect League All-Stars – Terre Haute put two starters on the Prospect League All-Star team and had six players selected overall.
Center fielder Kempf and starting pitcher Strunc will play for the West Division team next Wednesday in Springfield, Ill.
“It’s great. It’s just a payoff for me and everyone else on our team that made the [All-Star] team,” Kempf said.
First baseman Schroeder, shortstop Johnson and pitchers Zimmerman and Nick Blount were also selected.
Current Indiana State outfielder Landon Curry was selected and will represent Dubois County. Future Sycamore Mike Fitzgerald will start in left field, representing the Springfield Sliders.
• Late Wednesday game — At Quincy, Ill., the Rex fell to the host Gems 9-4 to split a two-game series at QU Stadium.
An eight-run seventh inning by the Gems proved to be the undoing for the Rex, who led 4-1 entering the frame. Three Rex relievers gave up eight runs, but only one of the runs was earned as Terre Haute (1-1 second half) had two errors in the inning to keep the Gems alive.
Kempf was 3-for-4 in the loss. Grant Reifers took the loss for the Rex.
Rex 11, Dans 4
Dans ab r h bi Rex ab r h bi
Fullerton rf 3 0 0 0 Chandler rf 4 1 1 0
Fletcher lf 5 1 3 1 Kempf cf 4 2 1 0
Britton dh 4 0 0 0 Johnson ss 4 2 3 2
Daniel ss 4 1 1 1 Eberle 3b 1 0 1 2
Casson 1b 4 1 2 1 Schroeder 1b 5 1 2 3
Alvarez 3b 4 0 0 0 Reynolds 2b 3 0 0 0
Hacker 2b 4 0 1 0 Hayes 2b 0 0 0 0
Fiasco c 1 0 0 0 Norwood c 3 1 1 1
Powell c 2 0 0 0 Zmrman dh 4 2 3 1
Newcomb cf 3 1 0 0 Mhney 3b-ss 4 2 2 0
Totals 34 4 7 3 36 11 14 9
Danville 010 101 001 — 4
Terre Haute 170 100 02X — 11
E — Hacker (9), Fiasco (3), Newcomb (1); Eberle (4). DP — D 2. 2B — Johnson (1), Schroeder (11). 3B — Casson (2), Zimmerman (2); HR — Daniel (4). SB — Kempf (11), Johnson (2), Norwood (3).
IP H R ER BB SO
Ruse (L, 0-4) 1 1/3 7 8 8 3 2
Pashuck 3 2/3 4 1 1 0 2
McNickle 3 3 2 2 1 2
IP H R ER BB SO
Strunc (W, 3-2) 7 5 3 3 2 7
Dove 2 2 1 1 2 1
WP — Strunc 2 (3); HBP — by Dove (Newcomb). T: 2:28. A — 669.
Next — Terre Haute (2-1) plays host to Danville (2-1) at 8 p.m. today.