TERRE HAUTE —
Hire the band, make the floats, and rent out a street.
The Terre Haute Rex playoff parade hasn’t started yet, but unless something catastrophic happens, it’s only a matter of time before it does.
Terre Haute dispatched Danville 8-4 on Tuesday at Bob Warn Field. Coupled with Quincy’s 4-3 loss to Hannibal, Terre Haute now has a 41⁄2-game lead in the Prospect League’s Western Division with seven games to go.
The Rex can make up the rest of the difference tonight.
A suspended game from July 16 against Springfield will be resumed at 7 p.m. with two outs in the top of the ninth. The Rex lead 10-8 in the suspended contest and the Sliders have runners at first and third.
The game was suspended because of an illegal mound visit and pitching change the Rex made in the ninth inning on July 16. Springfield protested the game and the protest was upheld by the Prospect League.
If the Rex win the suspended game, the Rex could clinch their second consecutive playoff bid in the regularly scheduled game against Springfield tonight if Quincy loses at Dubois County.
“Right now, we’re sitting pretty good,” said Rex third baseman Michael Eberle, who was 2-for-4 with two RBI. “Everybody has high confidence. We know we can win it all. We’re playing for a ring.”
Tonight’s opportunity would be the last the Rex would have to clinch a playoff spot at home until Saturday. The Rex play two games in Springfield on Thursday and Friday.
“Hopefully, [a playoff spot] happens,” Rex manager Brian Dorsett said. “It’s really been a rewarding run here. These guys keep coming up with ways to keep coming after you.”
It didn’t start well for Terre Haute against the struggling Dans. Leadoff singles by Tyler Fullerton and Evan Powell were turned into a pair of runs for Danville in the first. One run scored on a throwing error. The other scored on a Nick Whitty infield single that could have been scored an error, too, as it ate Rex shortstop Nick Johnson up.
Terre Haute responded with a run in its half of the first. Johnson singled, stole second and scored on a single by Michael Schroeder.
Danville’s lead peaked at 3-1 in the third inning as Fullerton hit a solo home run to left, but the advantage was short-lived. Terre Haute tied the game in the bottom half of the inning.
A one-out Patrick Chandler double started the Rex rally. Chandler scored on a Johnson single, and the Rex would load the bases for Michael Eberle. The Rex third baseman singled to left to score Johnson, but Schroeder was cut down at the plate, so the game remained tied.
It would be untied in a four-run Rex fifth. Chandler started the rally again with a leadoff single, and the Rex would load the bases with no outs. Brett Teschner drew a bases-loaded walk to put Terre Haute in front 4-3. A single by Casey McCurdy made it 5-3. Two more runs scored on a Danville throwing error to make it 7-3.
While the linescore says that Terre Haute wouldn’t look back from there, it wasn’t that easy. Relief pitcher Josh Dove got himself in a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the sixth. However, the Terre Haute native pitched out of it as he allowed just one run to keep the Dans at bay.
The Dans’ run was canceled out in the seventh via an Eberle triple.
“It was the best long relief performance of the season,” said Dorsett on Dove, who pitched 42⁄3 innings of relief as he had five strikeouts. “Dove is learning a lot. He’s got such a good sinker. He pitched his way out of that mess.”
In addition to Eberle, Chandler was 2-for-4, Johnson was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI and Casey McCurdy was 2-for-2 with an RBI.
• Suspended game – The suspended game with Springfield will begin at 7 p.m. Once it concludes, the regularly scheduled game against the Sliders will start 10 to 15 minutes later.