TERRE HAUTE —
Every now and then, baseball provides moments that will live on in the memories of all that witness it.
Wednesday night at Bob Warn Field was one of those rare occurrences.
Terre Haute South graduate Jacob Hayes sprinted around the bases for a game-winning inside-the-park three-run home run in an otherwise mundane game for the Terre Haute Rex.
Trailing 5-1 going into the ninth against Prospect League Western Division rival Hannibal (8-3), the Rex celebrated an improbable 6-5 victory.
The Rex were down to their final out with Koby Kraemer at the plate and nobody on base.
Kraemer flipped his ankle protector, dropped his bat and trotted to first base with a walk.
Three batters later, Cavemen pitcher Ethan Schlechte had walked the bases loaded. Then pinch-hitter Chace Mitchell, who was 4 for 10 in his past three games, took a 2-1 fastball on the outside corner and placed it down the right-field line for a two-run single.
Hayes, who had been on base three times prior to his ninth-inning at-bat, lifted a high fly ball 20 yards left of straightaway center field.
Cavemen center fielder Matt Burton was frozen. As Hayes approached first base, Terre Haute first base coach Darrin Barton yelled to Hayes “he lost it, he lost it,” and Hayes was off to the races.
Hayes was waved around third and just beat the relay throw to the plate, giving the Rex (5-7) a third straight victory. The Cavemen stood in disbelief as the entire Rex team mobbed Hayes in front of home plate.
“I thought I just popped it up, and I was rounding first and coach Barton started waving me and I just took off. Then I saw it get to the left-center field fence and I knew I was scoring then,” Hayes said. “Winning these three games at home is big, especially winning like that. That’s the most fun I’ve had since I hit a walk-off my junior year [at Terre Haute South].”
Manager Brian Dorsett had no doubt about sending Mitchell up to pinch-hit.
“Coach had me taking till I got a strike. Once he got me 2-1, I was sitting middle-in so hopefully I could drive something over the fence again, but he gave me a nice little one that I could poke over the right-field line and that’s what I did,” Mitchell said. “I’ve never been a part of a team that made a comeback like that. That was incredible.”
Kraemer, who scored the first Rex run in the seventh when led off with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brett Teschner, was impressed by Mitchell’s clutch hit off the bench.
“You’ve got to give him a lot of credit because he hadn’t been in all game. He comes in bases loaded, he does a nice piece of hitting, scores two, obviously keeps the inning going,” Kraemer said.
Dorsett, a former big-leaguer and part of the game for several decades, had never seen a game end with an inside-the-park home run.
“That was amazing. That’s the way you dream that you make comebacks like that,” Dorsett said. “A big two-RBI [hit] by Chace, he’s seeing the ball well, he’s coming up big. Jacob Hayes put in play, I don’t know how you lose the ball off the bat in these lights, this sky.”
Cavemen starting pitcher Mark Himmelberg, who had a 1.29 earned-run average in two prior starts, scattered four hits through eight innings.
“We were dead for eight innings, just couldn’t get anything going,” Kraemer said. “When I got that walk, I had no idea it was going to lead to anything like that. … I’m still in shock. I don’t really know how all that went down,”
Rex starter Chris Nunn, who also had a 1.29 ERA in two previous starts, allowed Hannibal to get four in the second inning, hitting two batters and walking a man.
Matt Kohorst pitched 42⁄3 innings of one-hit relief, striking out four. Kohorst earned his first win for the Rex.
“Great for Kohorst, because Kohorst threw so well. I was so happy for him. He threw such a great game in relief,” Dorsett said. “These are the kinds of things you hope you build off the momentum.”
The Rex hope to build off the momentum and challenge for the top of the division. The Cavemen have a formidable squad, and the Rex hope to climb toward them and Quincy at the top of the division.
“They’re pretty good all-around,” Kraemer said of the Cavemen. “They had a good arm, kept us off-balance, we chased a couple pitches here and there. That’s why you come up to the ballpark every day, see something new like that.”
Dorsett, who plans to continue to tinker with his lineups, hopes the win proves momentous.
“You’d like to think that this is the type of thing that would propel you in the first half,” Dorsett said. “This is the type of win that teaches them never give up, never ever because you just never know. Freak things happen, and that was one of them.”
TERRE HAUTE —
Every now and then, baseball provides moments that will live on in the memories of all that witness it.
- Terre Haute Rex
Rex looking to expand fan base in 2014
Bruce Rosselli, part of the new Terre Haute Rex ownership group as well as the team’s general manager, hopes to build the fan base in the first year.
The Rex, who have returning sponsorships from Clabber Girl, Union Hospital and Old National Bank, among others, want to appeal to more baseball fans from outside Vigo County.
Bobby Segal named Rex manager
Yogi Berra. Joe Girardi. Joe Torre. Mike Matheny. Mike Scioscia. Clint Hurdle. Bruce Bochy. Former catchers tend to make quality managers at the big-league level.
It’s not unique at baseball’s training-ground levels as well.
Terre Haute Rex owner Brian Dorsett had a 13-year professional career as a catcher and his time as Rex manager was a successful one, taking the team to the Prospect League playoffs twice and winning the Manager of the Year award in 2012.
SOLD: Local group buys Terre Haute Rex
The Terre Haute Rex baseball team has a new owner, pending approval by Prospect League officials.
The Indiana State University Foundation has sold the team to Wabash Valley Baseball LLC, a Terre Haute corporation whose member-owners are Brian Dorsett, Bruce Rosselli, Bob Brown, John Newton, Ray Kepner and Kevin Hoolehan.
Terre Haute Rex future up in the air
The future of the Terre Haute Rex is up in the air like a shattered wooden bat.
The team just finished its fourth season as a member of the Prospect League, one of many collegiate summer leagues around the nation. The team is owned by the Indiana State Foundation and president Ron Carpenter has publicly said, both before and after the season, that the Rex is no longer part of his organization’s mission.
Doing it all: Johnson plays all nine positions in nine innings, earns save in Rex’s victory over Sliders
Nick Johnson knew his day in Prospect League baseball Sunday was going to be special. He may not have counted on it being so suspenseful.
Wolfe's big hits help REX split with Danville on Saturday
Brian Wolfe had the two big hits Saturday afternoon as the Terre Haute Rex defeated the visiting Danville Dans 5-4 in the first game of a two-city Prospect League baseball doubleheader.
Rex roll to 5-0 victory over Sliders
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.
Terre Haute Rex bounce back to get Saturday split
In a lot of ways — good and bad — Saturday was a pretty good representation of the Terre Haute Rex season in Prospect League baseball.
Rex pitchers shut out the last-place Springfield Sliders in 17 consecutive innings of a doubleheader at Bob Warn Field; Terre Haute pitching has dominated Springfield often this season.
Kempf is rock of the Rex
Wherever his baseball career takes him — and like probably every player in the Prospect League, he has thoughts of playing beyond college — Kyle Kempf will probably use the same approach that won him a job with the Terre Haute Rex approximately 14 months ago.
Rex can’t derail Dans’ run
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.
Rex end skid with extra-inning win at Springfield
The Rex defeated the Springfield Sliders 11-7 in 10 innings in a Prospect League game on Sunday.
Great start, disappointing finish for Rex
Terre Haute falls off pace in Prospect League West Division
Rex offense struggles vs. Cavemen
Fresh off of splitting a double header against the Springfield Sliders on Sunday, the Rex fell to 20-17 on the season with a 4-1 loss to the Hannibal Cavmemen (15-20).
Danville shuts down Terre Haute Rex
Three Danville pitchers combined to shut down the Terre Haute Rex 7-1 at Bob Warn Field on Saturday night.
The loss dropped the Rex 31⁄2 games behind co-leaders Danville and Quincy in the Western Division of the Prospect League.
Rex fall short on Fourth of July
The Terre Haute Rex came up short at Bob Warn Field on Thursday night.
Vigo County natives come up big in 10-inning Rex win
The Terre Haute Rex needed a strong pitching performance from John Robert Patterson and got it. But it was Tyler Wampler’s fly ball to shallow center field that gave the Rex a 3-2 win over the Hannibal Caveman at Bob Warn Field Tuesday night.
Wampler progressing nicely this summer with Terre Haute Rex
A few more heads perk up than usual when a ball bounds or scoots across the Bob Warn Field turf toward Tyler Wampler. Even the most routine grounder can translate into a silky smooth play Terre Haute Rex fans don’t want to miss.
Gardner and Rex reach for big goals
Being a four-year starter in one of Indiana’s premier high school baseball programs was a long way from the highest goal Cody Gardner set for himself.
So the 2012 Terre Haute North graduate has continued to improve his skills and his talents in the approximately 13 months since he graduated, first at Wright State and this summer with the Terre Haute Rex.
Rex fall to Gems in first half of Tuesday's doubleheader
Despite getting a three-run homer from Brian Wolfe in the third inning, the Terre Haute Rex lost to the Quincy Gems 6-3 in the first game of a Prospect League baseball doubleheader Tuesday night.
Rex fall to Danville in 10th inning
The Danville Dans took advantage of Terre Haute Rex errors and walks Monday night to pull out a 5-2 win in extra innings in Prospect League baseball at Bob Warn Field.
Rex regain first place with 8-2 win at Springfield
Two former Vigo County high school baseball players played big roles Wednesday night as the Terre Haute Rex regained first place in the West Division of Prospect League baseball with an 8-2 win over the Springfield Sliders.
Prettyman getting comfortable as boss
At first glance, it would be easy to look at first-year Terre Haute Rex manager Ronnie Prettyman and expect him to have a difficult journey during his maiden voyage as a baseball manager.
Managing in the Prospect League isn’t the easiest job in the world.
Rosters change constantly, especially early in the season when players are still reporting from their college teams. The travel is arduous — a night game in far-off Quincy, Ill., could be followed by a home game, followed by a game at equally far-off Hannibal, Mo. The players have to acclimate themselves to playing every day after having played a maximum of five games a week at the college level.
Loss drops Rex into first-place tie
In a battle for first place in the West Division of the Prospect League baseball standings, the Terre Haute Rex fell just short Monday night at Bob Warn Field.
Sliders’ frustration against Rex continues
The Springfield Sliders probably curse the departure of the Dubois County Bombers from the Prospect League more than most.
What do the Bombers, who now ply their trade in the Ohio Valley League, have to do with the Sliders, or for that matter, the Terre Haute Rex?
When the Bombers left the Prospect League it created a situation where the Prospect League’s West Division teams — the Rex and Sliders both being members — had one less opponent to play in intradivision play.
Sanchez stays hot to lead Rex to victory
Hot seems to be the right temperature for Terre Haute Rex Ricky Sanchez.
After going 3-for-5 in the Rex win on Tuesday at Hannibal, Sanchez drove in four runs with a two hits Wednesday in Terre Haute’s 6-5 win over the same Cavemen at Bob Warn Stadium.
The win allowed the Rex to maintain a one-game lead on Quincy in the Prospect League West Division standings.
Sanchez, a catcher and outfielder out of Notre Dame, started the night hitting .355 and was 2-for-3 at the plate with a double.
Rex fall at home to Sliders
Zack Evans drilled the second Terre Haute Rex home run of the season Sunday, smashing a line drive into the trees in left field. The ball left Bob Warn Field in a hurry, but the solo shot was not enough to overcome a 3-1 deficit to the Springfield Sliders.
Rex looking to return to pitching dominance Sunday against Springfield
During a 7-1 start and franchise-best seven-game winning streak, Terre Haute Rex pitching was the catalyst. Through eight games, the Rex led the Prospect League with an earned-run average of 1.11.
Even after giving up 10 runs Friday night in a 10-6 loss to the Quincy Gems, the Rex (7-2) are still the league leader in ERA at 2.09.
Terre Haute Rex win franchise-record seventh straight game
Having begun its fourth season as a member of the Prospect League, the Terre Haute Rex summer baseball team had never won seven games in a row.
That is, until now.
Rex pull even with Gems in first place after 14-inning win
It took 3 hours, 45 minutes on Tuesday at Bob Warn Field, but the Terre Haute Rex got even.
The Rex avenged their season-opening loss to the Quincy Gems, and the 5-4 victory in 14 innings also pulled the team even with the Gems atop the Prospect League West Division standings.
Rex down Cavemen for fourth straight
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.
- More Terre Haute Rex Headlines
- Rex looking to expand fan base in 2014