DANVILLE, Ill. —
Nick Johnson continued to spark the red-hot Terre Haute Rex offense Friday night at historic Danville Stadium, going 3 for 5 with an RBI. Johnson is 11 for 21 in his past six starts, raising his team-best batting average to .428.
The Rex have scored 33 runs in their past four games after a 12-3 victory and a two-game sweep of Danville. Terre Haute got back to .500 at 11-11 with the victory, which ends an eight-game road trip with a record of 4-4.
Johnson played a part in the Rex scoring nine runs in the first four innings, his RBI single in Terre Haute's five-run fourth inning helping knock Danville starter Houston Hibberd from the game after 3 1/3 innings.
"I changed my stance a little bit," Johnson said. "Instead of an open stance, I've closed up a little bit. I shortened up, I'm not striding at all right now."
Spencer Mahoney's RBI single got the Rex on the board, and Edmund Cheatham's triple made it 2-0 in the second. In the third, Michael Schroeder cracked a two-run double to the wall in left-center field to score Johnson and Kyle Kempf.
Johnson, who plays at Mesa Community College, has been bumped up to the No. 2 hole in the batting order of late.
Schroeder, who batted clean-up, added an RBI double in the fourth, giving him two of the team''s six extra-base hits on the night. The Crown Point, Ind., native finished with four RBIs as Terre Haute pounded 15 hits off Dans pitching.
The Rex got a quality start from left-hander Clay Manering, who struck out six in six innings. Manering gave up a towering shot to lefty Adam Casson to deep right field in the second, and the Dans added two in the third. Manering had a 7.56 earned-run average in his previous five outings.
"That was a big start for him. He had a lot of success tonight, he threw a lot of pitches down in the zone," Dorsett said.
The Rex offense also took advantage of four Danville errors. Terre Haute, which had struggled with 15 errors in its last six games, made none.
"I'm happy with the offense. We've played two real clean games defensively," Dorsett said.
Terre Haute South graduate Josh Dove struck out three in throwing scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth, making it four scoreless innings with six strikeouts in three appearances since joining the team to begin the week.
The Rex return home for seven of their next eight games at home.
"This is going to be a big opportunity. These guys get to go home, sleep in their beds, play in that nice ballpark in front of our fans. It's going to be good for them," Dorsett said.
Manering (W, 1-2), Oltman (7), Dove (8) and Norwood; Hibberd (L), Pashuck, (4), Keller (7), McNickle (9) and Perkins.
Highlights — For Terre Haute, Nick Johnson went 3 for 5 with an RBI and 3 runs; Michael Schroeder 2 for 5 with 4 RBIs; Brian Norwood 3 for 6 with 2 RBIs; Edmund Cheatham 2 for 4 with 2 runs; Jacob Hayes a double, an RBI and a run; and Kyle Kempf 2 runs.
Next — Terre Haute (11-11) plays host to Quincy tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Bob Warn Field. Danville (7-15) plays host to Springfield tonight.