News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

July 13, 2014

Gems cut Rex hold on first place to 1/2 game

TERRE HAUTE — As good as the Terre Haute Rex have been in the second half of the Prospect League season — the Rex had lost just once entering Saturday's game against the Quincy Gems — the Gems themselves have given the Rex little reason to feel comfortable atop the West Division.

Quincy trailed Terre Haute by just 1 1⁄2 games entering their showdown at Bob Warn Field.

The Gems proved Saturday that they intend to make this a race and not a runaway for the Rex. Quincy defeated Terre Haute 7-4 to cut the Rex lead to just a half-game.

The floodgates were open for the Gems in the middle innings and it was the Rex that kept their hands on the lever. Terre Haute committed three errors between the fourth and sixth innings and all proved costly.

Rex starting pitcher Tommy Strunc was working on a no-hitter with a 1-0 lead in the fourth when trouble came to him. After a walk, Strunc hit Quincy third baseman Ryan Light. On the next at-bat, Rex cather Tyler Lawrence tried to pick Light off first, but his throw trickled into right field. Quincy's Mitch Gasparro scored to tie it.

In the fifth, Gasparro singled and as he stole second, Lawrence's throw rolled into center field. Gasparro advanced to third and then scored on a ground out by Adam McGinnis to put Quincy up 2-1.

But the real damage was done in the sixth. After a leadoff single, Rex reliever Shawn Kahre was seemingly out of the inning when Kyle Cedotal meekly grounded to first. However, Jeff Zahn's throw to Kahre was offline and Light scored to make it 3-1.

It got worse. The error kept the inning alive for Quincy to hit four more singles. Three of them knocked runs home and the Gems' lead ballooned to 7-1.

The errors nullified the four double plays Terre Haute turned against Quincy, including twin-killings turned three innings in a row from the second to the fourth.

The loss also took some of the sting out of yet another power display by Terre Haute's Tony Rosselli. The Rex designated hitter hit his Prospect League-leading seventh home run of the season to left field in the second. The line drive gave the Rex their first run of the game.

The Rex rallied late. The Rex scored in the seventh when Matthew Chavarria scored on a two-out throwing error. Another Terre Haute run was scored in the eighth when Ryan Sabo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

In the ninth, Manuel De Jesus led off with a double and scored on a Zahn double off the right field wall.

But ultimately, the Rex couldn't overcome the Quincy runs scored as a result or after key errors earlier in the contest.

Quincy pitcher Cedotal pitched seven innings and struck out seven to earn the victory.

The Rex (7-2) and Gems (7-3) meet again at 5:30 p.m. today at Bob Warn Field with first place on the line.

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