News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

July 5, 2014

Indiana State's Rosselli, Zahn providing power boost to Rex

Rosselli up to league-best six homers

CLINTON — The Terre Haute Rex will have a pair of Indiana State baseball players among its 11 representatives in Tuesday’s Prospect League All-Star Game at Bob Warn Field.

First baseman Jeff Zahn will start at first base for the West Division squad coached by Bobby Segal, and Terre Haute native Tony Rosselli will be a reserve outfielder.

Rosselli hit his fifth and sixth home runs of the season Saturday to lead the Rex to their sixth straight win behind big offensive performances. The Rex have totaled 51 runs during the five victories.

Rosselli said Zahn’s addition to the Rex lineup has been huge. Segal couldn’t argue with that notion. Both ISU players hit home runs on the recent Rex road trip.

“We don’t revolve our offense around home runs, but when you can get them it can be a momentum booster,” Segal said. “They’ve produced in the middle of the lineup. They’ve helped us score runs and our starting pitching has been great the last week.”

Zahn, a .260 hitter for the Sycamores this spring as a sophomore, is blistering the baseball of late with a .383 batting average, five doubles, a home run and 15 RBI in 15 games.

The Rex took a five-game winning streak into Saturday night’s home game, and Zahn carried a nine-game hitting streak into the game. The 6-foot-3 Zahn had his second four-hit performance during that span on Friday.

“It took me about a week or two to get my swing back,” said Zahn, who took a couple weeks off following ISU’s season. “Lately I’ve been feeling good, swinging it well. Just doing whatever I can to help the team win.”

Rosselli has missed some time with a hamstring injury, but he returned to the starting lineup with a bang on July 1 at Quincy. Rosselli crushed a fastball over the wall in left-center field for his third home run of the season and added a fourth homer the next night. He’s had a hit in four straight games.

“That was my first game back against Quincy and I was able to jump back on a good note,” Rosselli said Friday.

Segal and Rex hitting coach Cole Vicars agree that Rosselli has the physical ability to develop into an excellent ballplayer.

“As far as his tool set goes, that’s something he can bring to the table that a lot of guys can’t, is the amount of tools he has in the game of baseball,” Segal said.

“He’s got a lot of pop coming off the bat,” Vicars added. “You watch him take BP and drive the ball out of the ballpark, he’s been converting that over to the game here lately.”

Consistency is what Rosselli is seeking and his coaches need from him. The 6-2, 197-pound outfielder suffered through a 3-for-17 stretch that dropped his batting average to .207.

“We want to get more consistency out of him. Instead of just hitting a home run here and there, he starts getting some two and three-hit games,” Vicars said.

“The sky’s the limit for Tony. He’s just got to focus and work on his weaknesses,” Vicars added. “He gets a little too aggressive at times instead of letting the ball travel. You want to be aggressive but sometimes you can be too aggressive. He’s getting better and starting to take balls to right-center.”

Rosselli said ISU coach Mitch Hannahs asked him to work on his mental approach to the game.

“They’re really stressing on knowing the game more and becoming comfortable at this level,” Rosselli said. “Seeing new pitchers and different live arms, seeing a lot of different off-speeds is important.”

Rosselli will take part in the home-run derby prior to Tuesday’s All-Star Game. He looks forward to the chance to show his skills in his hometown.

“I’m looking forward to playing in my home stadium. Hopefully, we’ll get a lot of runs against the other side of the Prospect League,” Rosselli said.

Segal looks forward to managing 11 Rex players in the All-Star setting.

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High School
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SPT-HB0731-ColtsCamp-Werner-319.jpg

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