TERRE HAUTE —
A memorable spring of college baseball ended last weekend for Terre Haute fans, but those at Bob Warn Field on Tuesday night heaped cheers upon hometown hero A.J. Reed. Sycamores Derek Hannahs, Tyler Wampler and Jacob Hayes also were recognized during the Terre Haute Rex home opener.
As has become custom when the calendar flips to June, fans cheered on the Rex to a 5-1 victory in front of 1,166 fans for the first home win under the new ownership.
Terre Haute native Tony Rosselli played a big part in the third consecutive Rex victory, smashing a two-run homer to left field to break a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning.
Rosselli’s home run in his first Rex start was foreshadowed by the swing he put on a pitch by Hannibal starter Josh Thomas in the first inning. With the bases loaded, Rosselli smashed a liner to the warning track in left field that was run down by Cavemen left fielder Kaleb Zimmer.
“I just came out ready to play. Great atmosphere, so I just wanted to relax, get a good barrel on the ball,” Rosselli said. “It’s going to be a good summer. Looking forward to playing with these guys. Excited to get to the championship game.”
Rex center fielder Manuel DeJesus continued his hot hitting with two RBI singles for the Rex. DeJesus is hitting .444 through six games.
DeJesus was named the Prospect League Player of the Week for his hot start.
“Manuel, he’s that guy that’s going to give you a great performance every night,” manager Bobby Segal said. “His swing has been particularly smooth toward the end of the college season. Even if he’s having a tough night, he can lay down a drag bunt. He’s doing great things for [the Rex] early in the season.”
Ray Perez, DeJesus’ college teammate at Wabash Valley Junior College, had multiple impressive plays at shortstop and added an RBI single for the Rex offense.
Brandon Allen (1-0) earned the victory for the Rex by going 62⁄3 innings on the mound. The Western Kentucky right-hander struck out six and walked three.
Terre Haute native Damon Olds, who plays at Lincoln Trail, will make his second start of the season tonight as the Rex begin a two-game series against the Quincy Gems at 7:05 p.m.
HANNIBAL (ab-r-h-bi) — Zimmer lf 1-0-0-0, Smith 2b 3-0-0-0, Bentson 1b 3-1-1-0, Burgess 4-0-1-0, Ferguson 4-0-1-1, Marr ss 3-0-1-0, Cavaness cf 3-0-0-0, McMillon 3b 3-0-0-0, Miller rf 3-0-0-0. Totals 27-1-4-1.
TERRE HAUTE (ab-r-h-bi) — Smithson 2b 5-0-3-0, DeJesus cf 5-0-2-2, Bredlau lf 5-0-1-0, Atwood 1b 2-1-1-0, Welz dh 4-0-0-0, Rosselli rf 4-2-1-2, Caton c 3-0-0-0, Perez ss 4-0-1-1, Sabo 3b 3-2-1-0. Totals 35-5-10-5.
Hannibal 000 100 000 — 1
Terre Haute 000 102 11x — 5
LOB — H 8, TH 10. DP — TH 2. E — McMillon. SB — Marr. CS — Marr. SH — Smith.
Hannibal IP H R ER BB SO
Thomas (L, 0-1) 5 1/3 5 3 2 1 3
Ball 2/3 2 1 1 0 0
Perez 1 1 0 0 1 2
Hertzmann 1 2 1 1 1 1
Terre Haute IP H R ER BB SO
Allen (W, 1-0) 6 2/3 4 1 1 3 6
Jumper 2/3 0 0 0 3 0
Morrison (S 1) 1 2/3 0 0 0 1 2
Next — Terre Haute (4-2) plays host to Quincy at 7:05 tonight.