The Terre Haute Rex summer-league baseball team dropped its 2019 home opener Saturday night at Bob Warn Field, losing to the Cape Catfish 8-6 and falling to 1-2 for the season.
The Catfish wasted no time getting their offense rolling as they got four runners on base early in the second inning. A resilient finish from the Terre Haute defense though allowed just two runners to make their way home, leaving them trailing 2-0.
After Catfish pitcher Aaron Hubbell walked Austin Weiler in the bottom of the second, Cape seemed to come unwound, giving up four consecutive hits, one of which included a two-run double by Rex second baseman and Terre Haute native Will Hayes. The Rex exploded for five runs in the inning to establish a 5-2 lead.
The Terre Haute defense continued to push back against the Catfish bats in the third inning, knocking down their lineup in three at-bats. A leadoff hit in the top of the fourth inning for Cape wrestled the momentum back, though, as Rex pitcher Blayke Cutts allowed four consecutive runners on base. A 6-3 double-play by the Terre Haute defense and groundout ended the bases-loaded threat with the Rex still leading 5-4.
Weiler managed to score his second run of the day in the sixth, pushing the Rex lead to 6-4. The Catfish offense, which had been either hot or cold through each inning, caught fire in the top of the seventh. The Rex defense gave up four hits and two runs to Cape in the seventh and was unable to bring a runner home themselves, leaving the frame knotted at six.
Cape picked up right where it left off in the top of the eighth, wearing down the pitching staff of the Rex. After just one total inning from Rex pitcher Ross Kramer, Clayton Mayfield took the mound. The duo allowed multiple wild pitches in just two innings, all of which either advanced Cape runners into scoring position or brought them home as Cape crept out of the eighth with an 8-6 lead.
A fruitless bottom of the eighth for Terre Haute allowed the Catfish an opportunity to push the deficit even further in the final frame. However, two pop-ups and a throwout at second base by catcher Brett McCleary eliminated that possibility.
Hayes and Justin Jenkins managed to get on base after being walked and a single from Aaron Beck loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jacob Mulcahy hit a groundball to second base though and the Catfish turned a double play to end the game.