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July 8, 2014

Prospect League All-Star Game: East makes early lead stick in 9-2 victory

TERRE HAUTE — The West Division will have to overcome the East Division having home-field advantage for the second straight year in the Prospect League's championship series. The East jumped out to an early lead on its way to a 9-2 victory in the Prospect League all-star baseball game Tuesday night.

Like the Butler Blue Sox and West Virginia Miners in the East, Terre Haute can turn its focus to battling for a second-half title to earn a playoff berth.

“It would have been nice to secure that home field in the championship series, but we’ve got our own task ahead of us,” said Terre Haute Rex manager Bobby Segal, who managed the West Division squad Tuesday. “Our biggest thing is having the opportunity to come off a break and put a good game together.”

Eleven players for the host Terre Haute Rex attempted to contribute to the West’s effort, but the East got its bats going early in the game to take a 7-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning.

Home Run Derby champion Kyle Jackson of the Richmond River Rats gave the East a big cushion with an opposite-field three-run blast to right field to put the East ahead by six, giving the Coastal Carolina University player Most Valuable Player honors as well.

An Indiana State starter this spring, Rex first baseman Jeff Zahn countered in the bottom of the fourth with a towering shot over the foul pole in right field to make it 7-2.

“I was just looking to put a good swing on the ball and looking first-pitch fastball,” Zahn said. “There’s good arms in this league.”

But the East pitching kept the West scoreless for the final five innings.

“[Zahn]  really got into that ball, it was a shame no one was on base. We talk a lot about how singles don’t beat you and solo home runs don’t beat you,” Segal said.

Terre Haute’s Reagan Biechler, a Wichita State left-hander, gave up two runs in the second and Quincy’s Ben Allen gave up two more in the third. Danville’s Cam Wsocki gave up the three-run blast to Jackson in the fourth.

“We just had a couple guys in the middle that put guys on base and they capitalized. [The East] swung it well,” Segal said. “It could have been a lot worse with those two spots we gave up. We did limit damage, we just didn’t respond well. “

In addition to Zahn’s home run, Rex players Manuel DeJesus and Matt Chavarria chipped in with singles. Chavarria also pitched a scoreless fifth inning.

Terre Haute native Cody Gardner, a second baseman for Danville, lined a one-hopper to the shortstop for a double play in his only at-bat.

Tony Rosselli went 0 for 1 with a walk for the West. Rex pitcher Ben Morrison gave up two runs in the ninth.

“It’s a good experience. It’s fun to play against guys from all these other schools, it should give us some confidence in the second half,” Zahn said.

 

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