TERRE HAUTE —
Five Terre Haute Rex pitchers scattered six hits and four walks over nine innings on Sunday. All 10 baserunners were left stranded by Hannibal, and the Rex hurlers combined for a shutout of the Cavemen.
The 1-0 victory took just 1 hour, 58 minutes as the Rex won their fourth straight game overall and third straight at Bob Warn Field.
Kyle Kempf provided the only run of the game when his two-out triple to right-center field was followed by Atlee Schwab’s clutch single. Kempf, who led the Rex in hitting in 2012, is off to a blazing start again, batting .412 in the leadoff spot.
Manager Ronnie Prettyman had an idea Kempf would be in the leadoff spot heading into the season and hasn’t been disappointed with the Evansville native.
“Kyle is doing exactly what I thought he was going to do this year. He’s been great,” Prettyman said. “He’s putting the barrel on [the ball]. The great thing about him is he plays a great center field as well — he’s fast.”
Schwab took a bit longer route to Terre Haute, hailing from Palos Verdes, Calif.
The third baseman is on a temporary contract with Terre Haute, but with three hits Sunday he’s now batting .400.
“What’s funny about baseball is Atlee’s best swing of the night was his out,” Prettyman said of a ball Schwab drove deep to left field. “He’s trying to make it tough on us to keep him. He’s good, guys like him in the clubhouse. He’s playing a good third base, too, which is a big deal to me, being a former third baseman.”
Schwab said he’s enjoying playing in front of a large crowd. The Rex are averaging 977 fans through four home games.
“I was just looking for a pitch I could hit. I was able to get good wood on fastballs over the plate the previous two at-bats. I didn’t want to change anything up,” Schwab said. “I just got a fastball over the plate and it fell.”
The Rex (4-1) kept pace with first-place Quincy (4-0), a 6-4 winner against Springfield on Sunday. The two teams square off Tuesday at Bob Warn Field in a battle for first place in the Prospect League West Division.
Terre Haute’s defense was once again stellar, making no errors and turning a pair of double plays. Terre Haute native Cody Gardner, who had his first hit of the season, made the turn for a big double play in the seventh inning.
Left-hander Michael Marsinek (1-0) was the winning pitcher for Terre Haute, and he was followed by southpaws Michaelangelo Guzman and Bryan Nacke in the seventh and eighth innings.
Both lefties touched 90 miles per hour on the radar gun, but Guzman had to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh. Nacke, a former Terre Haute North standout, walked one and struck out two, leaving a runner stranded at second base after a walk and wild pitch.
“One of the things I’ve talked to those guys about is when we’ve hit bumps in the road, they’ve done a great job of getting out of situations. That just shows when they’re willing to bear down, they make a pitch,” Prettyman said.
Indiana State right-hander Kurt Kudrecki tossed a perfect ninth for his first save of the summer.
HANNIBAL (AB-R-H-BI) — Mangler 2b 4-0-1-0, Romanin ss 3-0-1-0, Kuck lf 3-0-1-0, Waller cf 3-0-1-0, Kenyon 1b 3-0-0-0, Morecraft rf 4-0-0-0, Greene c 4-0-2-0, Halbert 3b 4-0-0-0, Golden dh 3-0-0-0. Totals 31-0-6-0.
TERRE HAUTE (AB-R-H-BI) — Kempf cf 4-1-1-0, Schwab 3b 4-0-3-1, Sanchez rf 3-0-0-0, Cope 1b 4-0-1-0, Johnson ss 3-0-0-0, Bertram dh 3-0-1-0, Wampler pr 0-0-0-0, Arnold c 2-0-0-0, Evans c 0-0-0-0, Gardner 2b 3-0-1-0, May lf 3-0-0-0. Totals 29-1-7-1.
Hannibal 000 000 000 — 0 6 0
Terre Haute 000 001 00x — 1 7 0
2B — Romainin (1). 3B — Kempf (1). SB — Greene. CS — Cope. LOB — H 10, TH 6. DP — H 0, TH 2.
Hannibal IP H R ER BB K
Wandling (L, 0-1) 8 7 1 1 1 5
Terre Haute IP H R ER BB K
Krugh 4 1 0 0 2 1
Marsinek (W, 1-0) 2 3 0 0 0 1
Guzman 1 2 0 0 1 0
Nacke 1 0 0 0 1 2
Kudrecki (S, 1) 1 0 0 0 0 1
WP — Marsinek (1), Nacke (1). HBP — by Wandling (Evans), by Krugh (Romanin), by Guzman (Mangler).
Next — Terre Haute (4-1) plays host to Quincy on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Hannibal (0-4) plays host to Quincy tonight.