TERRE HAUTE —
The Terre Haute Rex are fit to be tied … in more ways than one.
The Rex played poorly in a 7-2 loss to the Quincy Gems on Wednesday at Bob Warn Field — the Rex committed five errors and squandered several early scoring chances.
The big picture implications were worse for Terre Haute. The loss dropped the Rex — who once had a four-game division lead — into a Prospect League Central Division tie with the Nashville Outlaws.
The Outlaws dispatched Richmond 8-2 on Wednesday to even the Central Division race.
The division winner makes the playoffs, the loser goes home for the summer. The Rex open a crucial two-game set at Nashville tonight before they conclude the regular season at home against Danville on Saturday.
The Dans have pulled within a half-game of the Rex in the race too after they beat Dubois County on Wednesday. Danville has already clinched a playoff spot based on their first half Central Division title, so the Dans don’t have any bearing on the second half race.
Wednesday’s game, played before 1,088 fans in a game that had a one-hour lightning and rain delay in the seventh inning, was not the way the Rex wanted to head to the Music City as they are mired in a three-game losing streak at the worst possible time.
“We have to shut the valve off when bad things are happening. Someone has to come through and make a play. Everything that can go wrong, the other team is capitalizing on it 90 percent of the time. Teams go through that sometimes. You just hope it doesn’t happen at this time [of the season],” said Rex manager Brian Dorsett.
A pitcher’s duel between Terre Haute’s Michael Son and Quincy’s Tom Barry dictated the first five innings as neither team scored. The Rex, however, had the better chances.
The Rex had the bases loaded in the second inning with one out, but Cole Vicars struck out and Ray Hernandez grounded out to squelch the Rex rally. Terre Haute also had runners caught stealing in the first and fourth innings which took potential runs off the board.
The Rex also suffered ill fortune. With one out and Kyle Burnam on first in the third inning, Nolan Earley hit a smash up the middle. Barry instinctively stuck his glove up and tipped the ball to himself for one putout and then threw to first to double off Burnam to end the inning.
The price for the inability to score was paid later. Quincy took a 1-0 lead in the sixth after Travis Becherer reached on an error by Hernandez and scored on a RBI double by Jon Myers. Terre Haute answered in its half of the inning on a two-out Jared Broughton RBI single to make it 1-1.
With help from the Rex, Quincy took control in the seventh. A leadoff walk drawn by Andrew Hest was followed by a tailing single to right by Jake Hibberd. The ball skipped under right fielder Chris Carlson’s glove as rolled to the wall, scoring Hest to put the Gems up 2-1.
After a hit batsman, Matt Mirabal doubled, scoring Hibberd to make it 3-1. The one-hour delay immediately followed.
The Rex got out of trouble with Tyler Browning on the mound after the delay, but Quincy put two more runs in the board in the eighth and ninth innings. After Myers doubled in the eighth, he scored on a sacrifice and three-base throwing error by Browning. Host scored on a John Lorenz single to make it 5-1. Quincy scored two more runs in the ninth on a two-run home run by Vinny Fayard off Brennan Ragon.
The only Rex response came in the eighth when Joel Licon drove in early with a two-out RBI single, but Terre Haute stranded the bases loaded to end its threat.
“We just need to start making plays. We’re making a lot of errors and we’re leaving a lot of runners on. If we could just come up with that big hit or big play, that would help us a lot,” Rex catcher Alex DeLeon said.
The Rex go to Nashville short-handed. Koby Kraemer is out, so are pitchers Clayton Hicks, Brandon Dorsett and Chad Reeves. Austin Haynal has left the team and gone home. Joe Meggs will return to action, but because of injuries, the Rex will have to throw a spot starter in tonight’s crucial game against the Outlaws.
“Multiple guys are banged up and there’s a lot of things going through all of their minds,” Brian Dorsett said. “We have to get back into the idea that whoever is left to play, we have to win with them. We don’t look like a team, right now that has that air about them, that good things are going to happen.”
Quincy 7, Rex 2
Q ab r h bi TH ab r h bi
Jones 2b 4 0 0 0 Burnam lf 4 0 0 0
Becherer rf 5 2 0 0 Carlson rf 5 0 1 0
Fayard cf 5 1 2 2 Earley cf 4 1 1 0
Myers dh 5 1 3 1 DeLeon c 5 1 1 0
Host lf 2 2 0 0 Guthrie 1b 4 0 3 0
Hibberd 1b 4 1 1 0 Brghton dh 1 0 1 1
Lorenz 3b 3 0 1 1 Licon 3b 3 0 1 1
Mirabal c 4 0 1 1 Vicars 2b 3 0 0 0
Lee ss 3 0 0 0 Hrnandez ss 3 0 1 0
Totals 35 7 8 5 Totals 32 2 9 2
Quincy 000 001 222 — 7
Terre Haute 000 001 010 — 2
E — Burnam (1), Carlson (1), Licon (9), Hernandez (11), Browning (2). DP — Q 2. LOB — Q 6, TH 11. 2B — Myers 3 (11), Mirabal (6); Guthrie (13). 3B — Earley (4). HR — Fayard (4). CS — Lee (5); Carlson (2), Guthrie (4).
IP H R ER BB SO
Barry (W, 4-2) 6 7 1 1 4 3
Fairley 1 0 1 1 2 1
Severtson (SV, 1) 1 1 0 0 2 2
Brett 1 1 0 0 0 1
IP H R ER BB SO
Son (L, 2-2) 6 5 3 2 2 2
Browning 2 2 2 0 0 2
Ragan 1 1 2 0 0 0
HBP — by Son 2 (Lorenz, Lee).
T — 3:44. A — 1088.
Next — Terre Haute (14-9) plays at Nashville tonight.