TERRE HAUTE —
Friday night was a lost opportunity for the Terre Haute Rex, who were in a quest to improve to 3-2 in the Prospect League’s second-half standings.
Terre Haute fell to 2-3 instead as failed execution late in the game allowed Lorain County to pull out a 7-6 win at Bob Warn Field.
The Rex hit their way to a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Nick Johnson drilled a two-run double to tie the game, and Lucas Hileman capped the four-run inning with a stand-up RBI triple.
After cruising through the seventh inning, reliever Brandon Dorsett walked two batters and hit a third to load the bases full of Lorain County Ironmen in the eighth.
Closer Nick Cunningham came on to get a strikeout and coax a pop-out. Then Michael Burke’s hard-hit grounder was scooped up by a diving Koby Kraemer at third base, but Jordan Pearson — who boasts a fielding percentage among the league’s best — couldn’t come up with the throw. Two unearned runs came across as a result.
“I don’t know if the ball just handcuffed him. Normally, he’s come in and played good defense for us. That just happens sometimes in the game. Everything bad that could happen did happen,” manager Brian Dorsett said.
Brandon Dorsett (1-1) took the loss.
The Rex countered in the bottom of the eighth as Johnson found space down the left-field line for an opposite-field leadoff double.
Derek Hannahs then popped up a bunt to the third baseman, and Chris Manning and Hileman struck out to end the threat. The Rex went down 1-2-3 in the ninth.
The Rex had 10 hits, with Hileman, Kraemer, Brett Teschner and Johnson each getting two apiece.
“We just didn’t execute. You have to bunt at a strike,” Brian Dorsett said. “We scored enough tonight to win. We had some good timely hits. We just didn’t capitalize.”
The Rex return to action today against Dekalb County at 7:05 p.m. Former Major League pitcher Tommy John will throw out the first pitch.
“It was a team loss. We’ve got to do a better job of closing out deals. If we can’t learn from that, we’re going to be a .500 ballclub,” Dorsett said.