During its recent winning streak, the Terre Haute Rex summer baseball team has dodged all sorts of weather delays.
From lightning to rain, several of the contests that ended with the Rex slapping high-fives after the final out was made involved some sort of waiting to get back on the field.
Its attempt to keep the streak alive Wednesday was washed out after a 90-minute delay, making an already important matchup with Chillicothe, which holds the second East Division playoff spot, go up a few more notches Thursday.
Mother Nature came through with a pleasant, low 80-degree evening and Terre Haute did its part as well, defeating the Paints 5-4 to extend its winning streak to eight games and cutting its playoff deficit to 3½ games.
Giving the ball to Indiana State junior Tristan Weaver to begin the game enhanced its chances of inching up the standings even more.
The southpaw, making his second start of the Prospect League season, started where he left off in his previous start against Danville nine days ago.
Weaver breezed through the front three innings, picking up six strikeouts, while keeping the Paints off the board in both the runs and hits departments.
After missing the entire 2019 NCAA season, and him throwing three innings in his lone prior outing, Terre Haute warmed up reliever Joey Rogers while the Rex hit in the bottom of the third.
But with the way Weaver cruised through the top half of the same inning by striking out the side, manager Tyler Wampler elected to send him back out for his fourth inning of work.
Despite Weaver allowing his first run of the summer, the move paid off, as he got through the frame by keeping his no-hitter intact and picking up his seventh strikeout.
He wasn’t awarded the win, but that had nothing to do with the way he threw the ball Thursday or the way his offense backed him up.
The Rex put up runs in three separate innings, beginning in the second following Austin Weiler’s hustle double to lead off the frame. He moved to third on a whacky 4-6-3 groundout, then scored on Ethan Hunter’s RBI groundout.
Three more runs crossed the plate in the third. Carter Bridge and Aaron Beck kicked things off with a walk and a double and proceeded to come around to score on Justin Jenkins’ sacrifice fly to left and Jacob Mulachy’s RBI single that skipped past the drawn in infield.
They weren’t done there, though.
After Romero Harris’ fielder’s choice, the Indiana State University left fielder scored from first on Weiler’s RBI double – his second of the game – that bounced off the left-center wall, making it a 4-0 game.
Chillicothe picked up its first run of the night – off Weaver – in the fourth on a sacrifice fly and then put up two more in the fifth on Cody Orr’s long two-out, two-run triple that bounced just inside the right-field line and off the “Under Armour” sign on the wall, cutting the Rex lead to 4-3.
The Rex got the run back in the bottom of the fifth on a controversial play that went the home team’s way, which proved to be important as Gavin Homer homered to straightaway center in the top of the sixth for the Paints.
With runners at second and third and no outs, Weiler bounced one down the first-base line that scored Mulcahy easily.
Weiler, however, reached first safely on interference by Chillicothe reliever Michael Hubert.
The Rex went on to load the bases with one out that inning, but couldn’t get any more across the plate. Terre Haute did so again in the sixth, but again, came away emptyhanded.
Would leaving six runners in a span of two innings come back to haunt the Rex?
Clayton Mayfield (two innings) and Jacob Frankel (two innings) combined to shut the door over the final four innings. The two combined to give up one run on two hits. Frankel picked up the multi-inning save, his fourth of the season, which included striking out the side in the ninth.