By Steve Fields
TERRE HAUTE —
The Terre Haute Rex closed their Prospect League season on a high note Monday night.
Using just one bat the entire game, the Rex pounded out 10 hits and came from behind to beat the Hannibal Cavemen 5-3 before a season-high 1,500 fans at Bob Warn Field.
The Rex closed the season with a 32-28 record, winning four of their last five games. The Rex also finished 10-5 against the Cavemen.
“It’s such a great group of guys and to go out with a win, it’s amazing,” Tyler Wampler said.
The entire Rex lineup shared a blue and white 33-inch-long, 30-ounce bat. The bat boy had little to do.
“It was a coaching decision. They told us to have fun with it. To pick one bat and see if we could make it last the whole game and we did. And we had a lot of fun doing it,” Wampler said.
The game was tied 2-2 through four innings. Hannibal took a 3-2 edge in the top of the seventh but the Rex bounced back to regain the lead for good in the bottom half of the frame with the help the night’s only error.
Kalik May led off with a walk and Wampler followed with a base hit to left field. Atlee Schwab put down a sacrifice bunt and Hannibal pitcher Tyler Paule’s throw was wide of first base, allowing May and Wampler to score while Schwab raced around to third. Kyle Kempf drove a double into right-center field, scoring Schwab.
John Robert Patterson started on the mound for the Rex, allowing three earned runs through 6 1/3 innings before Trevor Haas came on to finish the inning and get the win. Bryan Nacke pitched the eighth and Kurt Kudrecki earned his fourth save of the season in the ninth.
The Rex jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening inning with a two-out rally.
Schwab received a one-out walk, then after the second out Brian Wolfe singled to right field, moving Schwab to third. Owen Conway drove a ground ball into right field, scoring Schwab and Andrew Cope followed with a single to left field, bringing in Wolfe.
Hannibal countered with one run on three hits in the second, starting with Damon Waller’s double off the 396 mark in center field.
Hannibal tied the score 2-2 in the fourth when Zach Nichols led off with a solo home run over the 372 mark in left-center field.
Hannibal took the lead in the seventh when Kenyon doubled to the left-center field wall, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Kendall Patrick.
That set up the season-ending rally.
Terre Haute 5, Hannibal 3
Hannibal (AB-R-H-RBI) – Smith ss 4-0-1-0, Golden dh 3-0-0-0, Kuck 1b 4-0-0-0, Nichols 4-1-1-1, Waller rf 3-1-2-0, Cooper cf 4-0-1-0, Kenyon 3b 4-1-2-1, Patrick c 4-0-1-1, Duarte 2b 3-0-1-0. Totals 33-3-9-3.
Terre Haute (AB-R-H-RBI) – Wamper ss 4-1-2-0, Schwab 3-2-1-0, Kempf cf 4-0-1-1, Wolfe dh 4-1-1-0, Conway lf 4-0-1-1, Cope 1b 4-0-2-1, Evans c 4-0-0-0, Gardner 2b 4-0-1-0, May rf 2-1-1-0. Totals 33-5-10-3.
Hannibal 010 100 100 — 3
Terre Haute 200 000 30x — 5
E – Paule. DP – TH (Gardner, Schwab, Cope). LOB – Han 6, TH 6. 2B – Waller, Kenyon, Kempf. HR – Nichols. Sac – Duarte. SB – Kempf, May. CS – Kempf, Evans.
Hannibal IP H R ER BB SO
Paule (L) 6 1/3 9 5 5 2 3
Halbert 1 2/3 1 0 0 2 4
Terre Haute IP H R ER BB SO
Patterson 6 1/3 9 3 3 2 3
Haas (W) 2/3 0 0 0 1 0
Nacke 1 0 0 0 1 0
Kudrecki (Sv) 1 0 0 0 0 2
Att — 1,500
Record — The Terre Haute Rex finished the season 32-28 and Hannibal closed 29-28.