News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local Interest

July 10, 2012

Rex cool off against Springfield

TERRE HAUTE — It was a game Terre Haute probably didn’t deserve to win, and, despite an outstanding bullpen effort and focused hitting in the last few innings, the Rex did lose Monday for the first time since July 4 at Quincy.

The Rex, who will stay in first place with a 5-2 second-half record heading into a three-day All-Star break in the Prospect League schedule, were held in check by soft-throwing lefty Wade Rothermich.

His performance, along with a two-run home run that was blasted over the right-field wall by Springfield’s Sean Gerber, proved the difference in Monday’s 5-3 Rex loss.

To manager Brian Dorsett, baseball can come down to karma. In other words, errors and walks that should have been avoided can prove costly. For example, Rex starter Ben Dartnell committed a baseball no-no by walking the leadoff man, Mike Fitzgerald Jr., to start the second inning. Fitzgerald scored later in that inning and Springfield scored in four straight innings to take a 5-1 lead by the fifth.

“We hit a lot of balls hard. Unfortunately, sometimes in this game when you have had mistakes, sometimes it bites you,” Dorsett said. “A few walks among the first hitters in an inning, a couple errors. We got our game going after the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. It’s just one of those nights. It’s the way baseball sometimes ends up biting you.”

The home team had plenty of opportunities to make up for that pivotal shot off reliever Billy Timmerman in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, Rex shortstop Nick Johnson squared a ball up but the line drive was right at Fitzgerald Jr. in center field.

Kyle Kempf got the Rex offense on the board in the third inning when his two-out line drive landed on the chalk in right field and rolled into the corner. Kempf, one of two Rex starters in Wednesday’s All-Star Game at Springfield, Ill., took third for a triple, and scored on a clutch single by Johnson.

Patrick Chandler singled and scored with Kyle Zimmerman on a two-run double by pinch-hitting Brian Norwood in the eighth.

Chandler said it’s a tough loss, but the team still feels good about its recent play.

“We started out a little sluggish,” Chandler said of Monday’s game. “We did a good job working, keeping in the game. It would have been nicer to go out with a win, but we’ve done a good job of coming out strong here in the second half and having nice at-bats and good pitching performances.”

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