TERRE HAUTE —
While the Terre Haute Rex playoff hopes are all but dashed, that’s not going to change how the Rex (28-27) attempt for finish the season.
The Rex started the Wednesday night 11.5 games behind Danville in the Western Division, well out of the playoff hunt in the Prospect League. But that has not changed their approach to the game.
While the team’s playoff hopes are all but dashed — the Gems needed to win just one of its doubleheader against Hannibal on Wednesday to clinch — that’s not going to change how the Rex (28-27) attempt to finish out the season.
“We know we’re out of it now, but our coach is saying how we still need to complete, play hard and play the right way and we did that tonight,” Andrew Cope said.
Cope and Kyle Zimmerman set the example for everyone Wednesday night in the Rex 5-0 victory over the last place Springfield Sliders at Bob Warn Field.
Zimmerman pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing only three hits, while Cope drove in four runs with two big timely hits. “These guys are college baseball players who will be at a school during the school year and we want to make sure they’re getting better and going about their business in the right way. It’s important to us that the effort and the quality is there regardless of where we stand in the playoffs and they’ve been doing a good job of that,” coach Neil Walton said.
Zimmerman (7-2) pitched seven scoreless innings before being relieved by Nate Arnold in the eighth. Josh Dove came on to pitch the final three outs.
Zimmerman struck out only two, letting the Rex defense work for him, striking out two while holding the Sliders to three hits.
“He really pitched to contact and that allowed him to really go deep into the game and the defense played well behind. It was great to have him go that for so bull pen can be saved,” Walton said.
Springfield starter Jordan Pesko kept the Rex scoreless and off balance with a knuckle ball and fastball through five innings. But the Rex finally got to Pesko in the sixth inning.
Cope came through with big hits in sixth and seventh innings to give the Rex a 5-0 lead.
Kyle Kempf led off a four-run rally in the sixth with a single, but was out at second base on Kalik May’s ground ball. Brian Wolfe followed with his third single of the night, putting runners on first and second. Izaak Silva hit a ground ball to third base, but the throw to second base was wide, leaving bases loaded for Cope.
Cope, looking for a fastball, delivered his fifth double of the season, clearing the bases with a drive to the fence in right field.
“I was just trying to get an RBI, trying to get a pitch up [in the strike zone] so I could get it in the air in the outfield. I just put a good swing on it,” Cope said.
And the rally wasn’t over. Cody Gardner was hit by a pitch and Nick Johnson singled right field to score Cope to put the Rex up 4-0.
Cope came through again in the seventh inning. With two out, Silva drove an inside pitch down the right field line for his fifth double of the season. Silva moved to third on a wild pitch and came home with the fifth run when Cope’s high line drive to right field went off the tip of the leaping second baseman.
Terre Haute 5, Springfield 0
SPRINGFIELD (AB-R-H-RBI) – Prindle ss 3-0-0-0, Rothermich cf 4-0-1-0, Desimone 2b 2-0-0-0, Ingold 3b 4-0-0-0, Leifeld c 4-0-0-0, Hayes lf 4-0-1-0, Combs 1b 4-0-2-0, Meyer rf 4-0-0-0, Rappe dh 2-0-0-0. Totals 31-0-4-0.
TERRE HAUTE (AB-R-H-RBI) — Kempf cf 4-0-1-0, May rf 4-1-0-0, Waolfe dh 4-1-3-0, Silva 1b 4-1-3-4, Cope lf 4-1-3-4, Gardner 2b 3-0-0-0, Johnson ss 4-0-1-1, Evans c 4-0-0-0, Heptig 3b 3-0-0-0. Totals 34-5-9-5.
Springfield 000 000 000 — 0
Terre Haute 000 004 10x — 5
E – Ingold, Pesko, Johnson. LOB – Sf 8, TH 7. 2B – Hayes, Silva, Cope, Johnson.
Springfield IP H R ER BB SO
Pesko 6.0 7 4 3 1 1
Drummond 1.0 2 1 1 0 2
Cawtkhon 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
Terre Haute IP H R ER BB SO
Zimmerman 7 3 0 0 4 2
Arnold 1 0 0 0 0 1
Dove 1 1 0 0 0 0
W – Zimmerman (7-2). L – Pesko (2-4). HBP – by Pesko (Gardner).