The Terre Haute REX conclude their most extended road trip of the year last night following a matchup against the Danville Dans. This was the fifth meeting between the two teams, with the REX currently holding a 3-2 series lead after a tough low scoring loss to the Dans with a score of 1-2 that finished in the top of the ninth.
On this road trip, the REX have an impressive record of 6-2 and are 8-2 in their last 10 games. Their recent success has boosted them from last place in the division to now holding the third-best record leaguewide, behind Danville and Chillicothe.
The REX offense has been the primary factor in stacking up wins all year. They currently lead the league in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. The REX also maintain a large lead when it comes to home runs (34), hits (275), and RBIs (187). The next closest teams in these categories have 23 home runs, 248 hits, and 161 RBIs.
Two players who have created a name for themselves not only in Terre Haute but in the entire league, Alec Brunson and David Miller. They are the top two league leaders in RBIs (Brunson with 33, Miller with 27). Miller is also tied first in the league in home runs with seven, right ahead of fan-favorite Arturo Disla, who has six long bombs on the year.
Another big part of the recent success was the addition of the hometown hero, Jordan Schaffer. Schaffer just completed his final season at Indiana State University and was the first player General Manager Bruce Rosselli signed way back to the beginning of last off-season. Schaffer went on to play in the draft league on a 10-day contract before returning to the REX on June 18th. In his short time with the team, he is already putting up impressive numbers and shown his veterans experience with clutch plays down the stretch. Through ten games Schaffer has a batting average of .447 with six RBIs. He is quickly racking up doubles on the year as he is only two behind the REX leader in just 38 at-bats.
We can’t forget about the field manager behind it all. Matt Chavarria was hired by the REX in December of 2021. He comes with plenty of experience in the Prospect League, as he was a member of the 2012 West Virginia Miners national championship team. Two seasons later he ended up joining Terre Haute and was a Prospect League All-Star for them. Chavarria is also an assistant coach for his alma mater Southern Indiana University.
Chavarria always know how to get the most out of his players. After a rough 5-6 start to the season, he decided they needed to switch things up. Along with getting to the field early to do some batting practice as they usually do, he decided to implement some new pre-game routines. He had all the players meet in the locker room to do yoga together to loosen up a bit. Just a couple of hours later the REX ended up only having to play 7 innings as they run-ruled the Aviators 14-3 in game two of the King of the Wabash Ruoff Mortgage Rivalry Series. Then immediately following up with a 20-10 win over Danville. Ever since the new routine, the REX have had a record of 11-2 and are looking to stay hot. Coincidence or not, they have been playing like a brand-new team that awaits a return to Bob Warn Field tonight.
In Chavarria’s introductory press conference, he had mentioned that he “intends on being a playoff team,” and wants to bring a Prospect League Championship back to the Wabash Valley. He is on the right track as this is the best 24-game start the REX have had since 2015 when they started 19-5. That just so happens to be the last time the REX brought home the Prospect League Championship.
The REX will be home from June 29th – July 2nd, with one game against the Western Conference leader Alton River Dragons, and then a three-game series with Champion City including a double header on Saturday, July 2nd. Alton currently leads the season series with Terre Haute 2-0, winning both games by a combined four runs. As for Champion City, the REX hopes to continue their season sweep of the Kings as they currently lead it 3-0.
If you haven’t got the chance to see the REX yet this season, this weekend will be a great opportunity, as there is a double header on Saturday. We are approaching the halfway mark in the season already, so don’t wait too long as this team is starting to trend in the right direction!
Author: Sam Windler - REX Intern
(Picture taken by Katherine Miller)