News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 9, 2011

Still adjusting: Rex fall 4-1, offense not clicking yet

Craig Pearson
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Starting pitcher Blake Fonfara set the tone well for the Terre Haute on Wednesday, but things continue to turn sour early in the Prospect League season for the Rex.

The left-handed pitcher breezed through three innings behind his powerful fastball, but left the game with what manager Brian Dorsett called a “twinge” in Fonfara’s throwing elbow after allowing a two-run single.

The Rex bats couldn’t make up the difference, eventually dropping a 4-1 game to the Springfield Sliders in front of 648 fans.

Fonfara will have to be evaluated today, but the two-run single by Jeremy Shaw was all the Sliders needed to send the Rex to a fifth straight loss.

“We wanted to bust the guy in, but [Fonfara] didn’t want to throw it because he felt his arm twinge the last pitch,” Dorsett said. “So instead of the fastball, he throws a change-up, and gave this guy with a slow bat the opportunity to hit the ball instead of calling out that he thinks he just hurt his arm.”

The offense isn’t clicking for the Rex, who dropped to 1-5 on the season after winning opening night. 

Chris Manning hit his second triple of the season and scored Terre Haute's lone run against the Sliders. Manning, a California native and Valparaiso collegian, is batting .520. 

“It's been nice getting some hits early, trying to get the team going,” Manning said, “but we just can't piece rallies together right now. We're kind of struggling just getting used to each other. “It'll happen soon enough. There's definitely talent. There's a lot of mental things. Bunt coverages, missing signs, a lot of things we have to clean up.”

Nick Johnson had two more hits Wednesday and is hitting .360. He and Manning have 22 of the team's 50 hits through six games.

The guys batting between them in the order, Ronnie Mitchell and Koby Kraemer, share a .087 average.

Mitchell and Kraemer stayed at Bob Warn Field, working on their swings with Dorsett for 45 minutes following Wednesday's loss.

“They're hard-working guys. They're going to get it figured out,” Dorsett said. “We had some guys down here [in the batting cage] early before the game.”

The Rex struggled with men in scoring position Wednesday. Jordan Pearson left the bases loaded in the fourth, and the Rex left eight men on base in the game.

With Springfield holding to a 2-1 lead, Cameron Fagg scorched a hit to right field to lead off the seventh, but he got tagged out at second after trying to take an extra base on an errant relay throw.

“He was a little more aggressive than he needed to be,” Dorsett said. “We were going to bunt him over anyway. He knows now, seventh inning, it's late and we're down one, we don't want to try to make a play out of something.”

The Rex will have to try to figure it out on a four-game road trip, playing rival Danville today followed by trips to Springfield, Ill., and Nashville, Tenn.

“Sometimes you go through these slides different times of the season. I know Springfield last year would win eight in a row, lose seven in a row. We have got to figure out a way to get through it,” Dorsett said. “They've had the pep talks. Now it's time to just execute, believe that you're going to get it done.”

 

Sliders 4, Rex 1

Springfield    ab    r    h    bi    TH    ab    r    h    bi

Harding 2b    5    0    2    1    Manning rf    3    1    1    0

Fitzgerald lf    5    1    1    0    Mitchell cf    3    0    0    1    McMillin 3b    3    1    0    0    Kraemer 3b    3    0    0    0

Abt rf    1    0    1    0    Johnson lf    4    0    2    0

Shay c    4    0    1    2    Osnowitz 1b    4    0    0    0

White dh    3    1    0    0    Mitchell dh    2    0    0    0

Pudlo cf    3    1    0    0    Teschner c    4    0    1    0

Tallor 1b    4    0    1    0    Fagg 2b    3    0    1    0

Howard ss    3    0    1    0    Pearson ss    3    0    0    0

                    Roglen ph    1    0    0    0   

Totals    31    4    7    3    Totals    30    1    5    1

Springfield    000    200    002    —    4

Terre Haute    001    000    000    —    1

E — Heefner. DP — S 1, TH 2. LOB — S 8, TH 8. 2B — Howard. 3B — Manning. SH — Abt. SB — Mitchell.

                                                   IP    H    R   ER   BB  SO

Springfield

Moore (W)    7    4    1    1    4    4

Martin (S)    2    1    0    0    1    1   

Terre Haute

Fonfara (L)    31⁄3    3    2    2    1    2

Heefner    41⁄3    2    0    0    3    1

Vestring    11⁄3    2    2    2    2    2   

HBP — by Vestring (White), by Moore (Kraemer).

A — 648.

Next  — Terre Haute (1-5) plays tonight at Danville.