TERRE HAUTE —
The hottest team in Prospect League baseball showed why it is Friday night at Bob Warn Field as the visiting Danville Dans knocked off the Terre Haute Rex 4-1.
It was the 10th win in 11 games for the visitors, whose 30-12 record is the best in either division, and they used clutch two-out hits and dominant pitching to achieve it.
Kyle Kempf’s leadoff triple in the bottom of the sixth inning sparked a very small offensive resurgence by the Rex, who got five of their seven hits in the sixth, seventh and eighth frames, but the Danville bullpen was up to the test.
“I’m probably trying too hard, trying to push too many buttons,” said Rex manager Ronnie Prettyman after the game, “but the hitting part hasn’t come easy for us.”
Danville took the lead in the top of the second inning when Sam Maus was hit by a pitch with two out and scored on Spencer Herrmann’s double.
Two more runs scored in the fourth.
Another hit batter and a single opened the inning, but Kyle Zimmerman appeared to have pitched his way out of the jam by striking out Herrmann with one and runners on second and third.
Taylor Banks, however, got a two-out double just out of the reach of a diving Kempf in center field and drove in both runs.
Danville got another two-out run in the fifth.
“We had our opportunities with two outs too [and some chances with less than two outs],” Prettyman pointed out, “but those two-out knocks and two-out RBIs are killers.”
Kempf’s sixth-inning triple was followed by an RBI single by Atlee Schwab, who extended his own hitting streak to seven games. Brian Wolfe followed with a hit of his own, but the Rex stranded two.
Nick Johnson had a one-out single in the seventh, but the other three Rex batters struck out and Schwab’s leadoff single in the eighth was followed by three harmless grounders.
If the Danville formula looked familiar to the Rex fans — who showed up in numbers, the crowd of 1,446 the largest of the season — it should have. It was the same one used by Terre Haute to build an early lead in the first few weeks of the season.
“Our last game [before this week’s All-Star break], we scored 11. Our guys have it in them,” Prettyman noted. “As coaches, you’re trying your best to get ‘em confident again.
“There’s a couple we wish would remember how good they are and why they’re here.”
Danville 4, Terre Haute 1
DANVILLE (AB-R-H-RBI) — Thomas cf 5-0-0-0, Miller ss 3-1-1-0, Fletcher lf 3-0-0-0, Simoneaux rf 3-1-2-1, Conyers dh 4-1-1-0, Maus 2b 2-1-1-0, Herrmann 1b 4-0-1-0, Banks c 4-0-1-2, Selesky 3b 3-0-0-0. Totals 31-4-7-4.
TERRE HAUTE (AB-R-H-RBI) — Kempf cf 3-1-1-0, Schwab 3b 4-0-2-1, Wolfe 1b 4-0-2-0, Gardner rf 4-0-0-0, Cope dh 4-0-0-0, Conway lf 4-0-0-0, Arnold c 4-0-0-0, Johnson ss 4-0-2-0, Heptig 2b 3-0-0-0. Totals 34-1-7-1
Danville 010 210 000 — 4
Terre Haute 000 001 000 — 1
E — Gardner. DP — TH 1. LOB — Danville 7, TH 7. 2B — Herrmann, Banks, Maus. 3B — Kempf. SB — Kempf, Miller. CS — Fletcher. SH — Maus.
Danville IP H R ER BB SO
Stevens (W) 6 5 1 1 1 5
Burton 1 1 0 0 0 3
Nordgren 1 1 0 0 0 0
McNickle (Sv) 1 0 0 0 0 0
Terre Haute IP H R ER BB SO
Zimmerman (L) 5 2/3 6 4 4 2 7
Horn 1 1/3 1 0 0 0 1
Haas 2 0 0 0 0 1
HBP — by Zimmerman (Maus), by Zimmerman (Miller), by Zimmerman (Simoneaux), by Zimmerman (Selesky). PB — Banks. T — 2:12. A — 1,446.
Next — The Terre Haute Rex (21-23) play at 8 p.m. today at Hannibal. Danville (30-12) has a home doubleheader today against Springfield.