TERRE HAUTE —
Showing last year’s strong attendance at Bob Warn Field was no fluke, 1,161 fans turned out from the Terre Haute community for Thursday’s Terre Haute Rex season opener.
Worried tickets would sell out, Craig Maschino arrived 90 minutes early for the game against the Danville Dans. Maschino took advantage of the time to take his kids to the expanded kids zone area.
Spencer Maschino, 10, and neighbor friend Christopher Clapp participated in a home-run derby contest while 3-year-old Meredith played in one of two bouncy houses.
“This is the highlight of her evening,” Craig Maschino said. “The big ones can’t wait till the game gets started. It’s nice during the game if you’ve got little ones that get bored you can bring them over here.”
Hadley Stinson, a recent North Vigo graduate, will manage the kids zone. She plans to study marketing and sport management at Indiana State.
“We’ll also have face painting, and cornhole boards are a new addition,” Stinson said.
The fenced in area will be added to, general manager Roland Shelton said.
“We wanted to add more games. We plan to fill that whole area,” Shelton said.
The game itself featured three former Vigo County standouts in the starting lineup, fittingly, on Vigo County Scool Corporation night. Superintendent Dan Tanoos threw a strike from the mound as the game’s first pitch.
Also making his presence known on the field was manager Brian Dorsett. A 1979 Terre Haute North grad, Dorsett vehemently argued with the umpires after former Terre Haute South Vigo star Koby Kraemer was tripped rounding second base.
Dorsett was in the dugout with his son Brandon, an ISU player and a relief pitcher for the Rex again in 2011.
Fathers and sons took in the game side by side in the seats at Sycamore Stadium.
Some also took in the game anxious to see their son perform.
Kraemer, who started at second base and hit third, will have his father Kyle in attendance for many summer games like last season when Kraemer was a regular in the Rex lineup. Kyle left happy as Kraemer provided a game-tying RBI groundout that kept the ninth inning alive for Nick Johnson to drive home the winning run.
West Vigo graduates Jordan Pearson and Cameron Fagg were also opening-day starters for the Rex.
Kenny Pearson, a West Vigo assistant coach, has been able to watch few of his son’s college games so he’s looking forward to this summer.
“This is actually going to be awesome just the fact of being able to follow him now with our season over. I’ve coached for seven years with West Vigo. These are times I’m really going to take advantage of and relish for the next 2 1/2 months.
Fagg’s father Gary and mother Melissa were in attendance as well to see their son provide two sacrifice bunts for the Rex lineup.