TERRE HAUTE —
The Terre Haute Rex went through plenty of trials and tribulations during the summer of 2012.
The team got off to a sluggish start to settle for third place during the first half of the Prospect League race, but manager Brian Dorsett rallied the troops to a second-half title.
The Rex finished with a 38-22 overall record, good for second best among the 12 teams in the league.
Off the field, the Rex were pleased with improvements they made to promotions during the game, and sponsorships from the community gained steam for the second straight summer.
The franchise did not reach its goals for improving on attendance, which was more than 1,000 fans per game in 2011. The Rex averaged 925 in 2012, but the brutal heat wave deserves a chunk of the blame.
“We had several teams start out on record pace and then slow down a little bit with the heat. I think we saw it here,” Prospect League commissioner David Chase said.
Rex general manager Casey DeGroote agreed.
“The heat was just unbearable at times from mid-to-late June to end of July. We still had a bunch of fans come out and support us even when it was hot,” DeGroote said. “Still, to average 925 fans, just 90 fans off of what we did the year before. That was good to see.”
Chase was on hand to see the Rex clinch the second-half West Division title in early August. He left impressed by the operation, which included community businesses such as Louise’s Copper Catering and Bagnoche Sports adding to the professional experience.
“There aren’t too many community league teams where you see people in the community wearing the Rex gear around town. You see a lot of that here,” Chase said.
“That is the essence of what I want the Prospect League to be. I want it to be your baseball team in your community in the summer. We can supplement what the universities do in our town and the youth leagues, but I want us to own the community in July and August.”
DeGroote, who was promoted to GM role in July, said recently that community presence for the Rex is a goal everyone in the organization has kept their sights on.
One way to achieve that is by bringing in quality people to play for the team.
“Every single guy this year was just great,” DeGroote said. “No bad attitudes. It showed in our record. Best record in the three years. Had [six] guys that made the All-Star team.”
Rex closer Nick Blount said earlier this summer he really enjoyed being in Terre Haute. He was named the league’s top prospect. The 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher throws in the mid-90s.
The Rex already have former players such as Stephen Bruneau playing in the minor leagues, hoping to have alumni of the team play in the major leagues some day.
Manager Brian Dorsett feels he and his coaching staff have helped some players from the 2012 on their way to achieving those goals.
Learning to play baseball every day, including hitting with a wooden bat, is a grind. Dorsett was impressed by how the players were sponges for information.
“They really wanted to learn the game,” Dorsett said. “They asked a lot of questions. Wanted to know how things worked. What we saw in certain situations. Knowing the situation and knowing how to look at a situation. Being willing to come out and practice, first and thirds. Pickoffs and those types of things.”
The work ethic of the Rex was a huge reason for the team’s success, Dorsett relayed, which makes managing the young men a positive experience for him.
“Just being on a roll where you start seeing them play the game how it should be played. Making sure they are respecting the game and playing hard at all times. Everybody there did that. That’s the most rewarding thing,” Dorsett said. “They did respect the game. They went out there always playing hard, every pitch, every inning. They weren’t taking plays off, giving at-bats up. That’s the most rewarding part.”
Dorsett, who was in the final year of a three-year commitment as the manager of the Rex, said his coaching staff was fantastic to work with every day.
“Ronnie Prettyman, Bobby Segal and John Howes, we all like to work,” Dorsett said. “The fans see the game. There’s so much that goes into preparing to play that game. Bobby Segal and Ronnie made themselves available to do that, and I worked a lot with catching and hitters.”
The Rex lost 3-2 in a one-game playoff with first-half West Division champion Dubois County to end the season abruptly. Dorsett said he would prefer a series in that situation. Plus, he felt the Rex should have been granted home-field advantage because of their better overall record.
Overall, though, he’ll take nothing but positive memories away from the season.
“We came down to the end fighting. In the second half, we dominated the second half. That’s something these guys all knew. They wanted it. Kudos to them,” Dorsett said. “Every year, the organization has gotten better on the field.”
Summer league team started slow, won second half title
TERRE HAUTE —
The Terre Haute Rex went through plenty of trials and tribulations during the summer of 2012.
- Terre Haute Rex
Prospect League: Rex crush Cavemen
One day after an errror-filled 13-inning loss to Springfield at home, the Terre Haute Rex cleaned up their act on the road. There were no errors, and for the Hannibal Cavemen, no runs either. Terre Haute's six-run fourth inning broke the game open as the Rex won 10-0 late Tuesday.
Rex recover with 10-0 win over Hannibal
Rex beat Hannibal 10-0 on Tuesday.
Newcomer pitches Rex to win at Danville
Clint Chestnut made his first start as a member of the Terre Haute Rex a good one Saturday evening, allowing just three hits in 5 2/3 innings as the Rex won 2-1 at Danville.
Lockdown: Rex’s Jacknewitz stifles Cavemen before record home crowd
Greg Jacknewitz had his best start of the summer, taking a shutout into the eighth inning to earn a big ovation from the biggest crowd in the five years of the Terre Haute Rex franchise.
Rex beat Chillicothe 3-1
The Terre Haute defense backed Andrew Moralez with four double plays in his initial trip to the mound for the Rex on Thursday at Bob Warn Field as a season-high 1,184 fans watched a three-game losing streak come to a close.
Gems take two from Rex, drop Terre Haute to second place
The Terre Haute Rex managed just one run in 16 innings Tuesday at Quincy, dropping both games of a doubleheader to the Gems, who took over first place in the West Division with the wins.
Gems cut Rex hold on first place to 1/2 game
As good as the Terre Haute Rex have been in the second half of the Prospect League season — the Rex had lost just once entering Saturday's game against the Quincy Gems — the Gems themselves have given the Rex little reason to feel comfortable atop the West Division.
Metro sports: Rosselli, Biechler capture Prospect League honors
The Terre Haute Rex swept the Prospect League Player of the Week honors this week.
Rex return from All-Star break with a win at Danville
The Terre Haute Rex returned to action on Thursday in winning fashion as they defeated Danville 4-1.
Prospect League All-Star Game: East makes early lead stick in 9-2 victory
The West Division will have to overcome the East Division having home-field advantage for the second straight year in the Prospect League's championship series. The East jumped out to an early lead on its way to a 9-2 victory in the Prospect League all-star baseball game Tuesday night.
Like the Butler Blue Sox and West Virginia Miners in the East, Terre Haute can turn its focus to battling for a second-half title to earn a playoff berth.
Rosselli gets close to winning Derby, but River Rat triumphs
Terre Haute’s Tony Rosselli didn’t disappoint the hometown baseball fans Tuesday night, powering his way to eight home runs at Bob Warn Field.
But Rosselli lost in a five-out tiebreaker round in the finals to Kyle Jackson of the Richmond River Rats to take second place in the Prospect League’s Home Run Derby.
Shining stars: Rex manager Segal to lead West Division tonight at Bob Warn Field
Terre Haute Rex first-year manager Bobby Segal will guide the West Division against the East Division, managed by Chillicothe’s Greg Cypret, in the Prospect League all-star baseball game, scheduled for tonight at Terre Haute’s Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Metro sports: McVicker brings home 3 gold medals
Jack McVicker of Terre Haute won three gold medals in the IBJJF Paris Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament on June 28-29 in France.
Indiana State's Rosselli, Zahn providing power boost to Rex
The Terre Haute Rex will have a pair of Indiana State baseball players among its 11 representatives in Tuesday’s Prospect League All-Star Game at Bob Warn Field.
First baseman Jeff Zahn will start at first base for the West Division squad coached by Bobby Segal, and Terre Haute native Tony Rosselli will be a reserve outfielder.
Rosselli hit his fifth and sixth home runs of the season Saturday to lead the Rex to their sixth straight win behind big offensive performances. The Rex have totaled 51 runs during their past five wins to start the second half of the season.
Rex roll to sixth straight victory Saturday
When the Terre Haute Rex get five runs in a game? Bank on a victory. Often times, they get far more than that.
So it was again on Saturday. A four-run fourth inning helped the Rex defeat Hannibal 8-2 in front of 1,028 fans at Bob Warn Field.
Rex roll to 18-2 triumph
The Terre Haute Rex cruised to an 18-2 victory over Springfield on Friday night, one night after scoring 15 runs.
ISU players key Rex to 3-0 start in second half
The Terre Haute Rex improved to 3-0 in the second half of the Prospect League schedule with a 5-1 victory Wednesday at Quincy.
Rex pick up 5-2 victory at Quincy
The Terre Haute Rex (18-13) and the Quincy Gems (17-12) each put runners in scoring position on Tuesday, but the Terre Haute Rex capitalized on more RBI opportunities, pulling out a 5-2 win at Quincy Stadium.
Rex get 10 players on West All-Stars
The Terre Haute Rex will have 10 players take the field July 8 for the Prospect League All-Star Game at Bob Warn Field.
Manuel DeJesus, who is batting .368 on the season, will be in the starting lineup for the West Division, which will be led by Rex manager Bobby Segal.
Rex third baseman Ryan Sabo, a .244 hitter, will start for the West, along with designated hitter Cayce Bredleau, a .276 hitter with a home run and 16 RBI through 28 games.
Rex down Hannibal Cavemen, 7-5
The Terre Haute Rex got back on the winning track Monday night in Prospect League baseball, scoring twice in the top of the first inning and leading the rest of the way for a 7-5 win over the Hannibal Cavemen.
Dans’ Sutton shuts down Rex
The Terre Haute Rex needed victories Friday night against Danville and Sunday against Hannibal to clinch a Prospect League playoff spot as the first-half West Division champion.
Rex win 16-4 at Hannibal
n Terre Haute 16, Hannibal 4 — At Hannibal, Mo., the visiting Rex scored six runs in the top of the second inning Thursday night and coasted home to salvage the final game of a three-game series.
Rex fall again to Cavemen, dropping into tie for first place
The Terre Haute Rex lost for the third straight night Wednesday, falling 8-2 in the second game of a three-game series at Hannibal, Mo.
The Rex jumped ahead of the Cavemen early in the game with a 2-1 lead in the second, but Hannibal scored three in the fifth and four in the seventh to take the victory.
Rex drop first of three-game series to Cavemen
The Terre Haute Rex dropped their second straight game Tuesday night at Hannibal, Mo., falling to the Cavemen by a 5-1 score.
Gardner comes home to haunt former team
A hometown player and former team member halted the Terre Haute Rex winning streak in Prospect League baseball at Bob Warn Field on Monday as Cody Gardner contributed two big hits to a 4-1 win for the visiting Danville Dans.
Trio hopes college success carries over to Rex
The Terre Haute Rex have championship aspirations and three players who played key roles in NCAA championship teams are hoping to carry that success to Bob Warn Field.
Rex beat Hannibal 6-3
The Terre Haute Rex rallied for six runs in the sixth inning and used the outburst to defeat Hannibal 6-3 in a seven-inning game at Bob Warn Field on Friday.
Rex win 3-2 in 12 innings
The Terre Haute Rex were nothing if not resourceful Wednesday with the Butler Blue Sox paying a visit to Bob Warn Field.
Rex return to winning ways
The Terre Haute Rex took their frustrations out on the Springfield Sliders on Tuesday at Bob Warn Field. The Rex snapped a six-game losing streak with an emphatic 11-1 victory in Prospect League baseball.
Starting pitcher Reagan Biechler went the distance as he allowed just four hits and struck out eight. He improved his earned-run average to 1.83 for the season.
Rex roll to 10-3 win behind Rosselli's three hits
The Terre Haute Rex moved back into first place in the Prospect League West Division with a 10-3 victory over the West Virginia Miners on Friday night.
- More Terre Haute Rex Headlines
- Prospect League: Rex crush Cavemen