REX spoil the Aviators inaugural game at Loeb Stadium
The REX headed to Lafayette, IN last night to take on the Aviators in a battle of the Hoosier teams. The REX entered the night looking to win their second game in a row. The Aviators meanwhile entered last night with a 3-1 record. This was the Aviators inaugural game at the New Loeb Stadium.
The Aviators struck first as they took a quick three-run lead in the bottom of the first. After that, starting pitcher Benji Downs settled down and grounded the Aviators over the following five innings. Catcher Canton Terry started the scoring with an RBI single that scored left fielder Alec Brunson in the top of the second. In the fourth inning, Brunson hit the first home run of the season for the REX over the right field wall that scored right fielder Jack Leverenz to tie the game in the fourth inning. Shortstop Kody Putnam started off his hot night with a two RBI triple in the top of the fifth that gave the REX the lead for the rest of the night. New first baseman Rob Weissheier continued his tremendous start to the season with an RBI single in the same inning to give them a 6-3 lead.
Fast forward to the top of the seventh and Weissheier’s bat was still on fire as he hit another RBI single. Leverenz followed that up with a single that scored Putnam. The last score of the inning came on a Brunson ground out that scored Wessheier to give the REX a 9-3 lead. Downs started the inning and was able to get one out before he was forced out of the game due to the pitch count rule. Terre Haute native Tristan Elder came into pitch in relief. The Aviators hit a two-run home run off the hometown favorite, but he responded quickly by striking out the last batter of the inning.
Putnam came back with a splash in the top of the eighth as he sent a two-run home run over the left field wall towards the water park across from Loeb Stadium. His two-run dinger scored center fielder Alec Atkinson. Wabash Valley’s Own went into the bottom of the eighth with an 11-5 lead. Elder was able to shutdown the Aviators relatively easy, and the REX headed into the top of the ninth with a six-run lead.
The REX entered the final inning looking for some insurance runs and they found them. Brunson started off the inning with a single and then Terry reached base on a walk. The pitcher turned designated hitter, Benji Downs, came up to the plate and scored Brunson on an RBI double. Atkinson reached base on an error that both Downs and Terry were able to score on. The Aviators tried to make things interesting, by scoring one in the bottom of the ninth, but ultimately the REX came away with a 14-6 victory.
Putnam had this to say last night after his big night at the plate, “I saw the ball well tonight. Just tried to do damage every time I stepped into the box, get my pitch, you know, have a great approach. The whole team swung it well, good defense all-around, good pitching, and good W for the guys.”
The REX play in Lafayette again tonight at Loeb Stadium against the Aviators at 7:05 PM EST.