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Rex to begin home part of 2024 season Friday

May 29—First-year Rex manager Tony Rosselli, son of team general manager Bruce Rosselli, has rounded out his coaching staff for the 2024 Prospect League wood-bat baseball season, which began Tuesday night with a 4-3 loss at the Dubois County Bombers.

For the first time, the staff will consist of former Rex players throughout the 14-year history of the organization.

Assisting the Rossellis are Jacob Harden, entering his fifth season on the Rex staff, and Terre Haute native Cole Vicars in his first year as pitching coach.

Vicars was part of the 2010 Rex team that joined the Prospect League in its inaugural season. Vicars stepped up to the mound with five strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched, while also nailing 20 hits and 10 runs at the plate. The 2010 squad ended up with 29 wins while breaking ground in the Wabash Valley.

Harden will return to the dugout this summer for his fifth season. He had a former stint in the summer of 2017 in the Prospect League, a year that the Rex won 32 games and saw Harden appear in three. Harden says he is proud of being part of the Rex and is grateful to be able to keep his energy in the Wabash Valley.

"You got to have great players to get great results and Tony has been a huge asset in terms of getting guys here this summer," Harden said. "It should be another fun summer at Bob Warn Field."

Also is in his third year as head coach at Linton High School, Harden guided the Miners to their first regional championship in program history in 2022 and he's got them in another regional coming up Saturday.

Tony Rosselli was part of the 2014 Rex team that chalked up 37 wins and a Prospect League playoff berth. He was an incoming freshman at Indiana State. But less than a year before his collegiate career started at Bob Warn Field, he was getting himself acclimated to the place he'd call home in the summer of 2014.

The Prospect League West Division All-Star put up a .285 batting average while hitting seven home runs and driving in 31 runs while also recording nine doubles, three triples and 11 stolen bases in that 2014 season. Five of Rosselli's seven homers came at Bob Warn Field. He also played briefly in 2017 before being signed to play pro ball after his senior year at ISU.

Now the younger Rosselli has put together a roster of close to 40 athletes from across the country to lead the Rex. With six years of playing experience as a pro, Rosselli is familiar with postseason play. Throughout his time as a player for the Rex and as head coach for the Wilson Tobs in the Coastal Plain League, he has remained competitive.

"This would be the first time the Rex have a full coaching staff consisting of both former [Rex] players and/or coaches in our prior seasons," Bruce Rosselli said. "We're excited to welcome on board Cole Vicars, who was under field manager Brian Dorsett in the Rex's inaugural season. Assistant coach Jacob Harden has been a huge addition to the clubhouse as a player briefly in 2017 to an assistant coach the past four summers.

"Tony played back in 2014 and 2017 and helped as an assistant in the summer of 2022. With all three of those guys leading this exciting team of recruits, they bring back with them those years of Rex traditions. I have faith they will lead us to another fun summer."

On Wednesday night, the Rex were slated to visit the Danville Dans. Thursday will be an off day. Then the Rex will play host to Danville on Friday for their home opener, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Bob Warn Field.

After another game at Danville on Saturday, the Rex will return to Bob Warn Field for a 4:30 afternoon matchup against the Bombers on Sunday.

This year, the Prospect League consists of 18 teams, so there is an even split of nine each in the Western and Eastern conferences.

The Western Conference has two divisions — the Northwest and South. The Eastern Conference also is made up of two divisions — the Northeast and Central.

The Rex are in the Central Division with Danville, Dubois County, Full Count Rhythm out of Hendersonville, Tenn., and the Normal CornBelters.

The league again will play a split season, with first- and second-half winners. The first-half winner in each division hosts the second-half winner in a one-game division championship game. The league championship remains a best-of-three series, while all other playoff games remain winner-take-all. If a team wins both halves, the team from the same division with the next-best second-half record qualifies for the playoffs. The first half of the season ends when the last game is completed June 30.

Rex tickets can be purchased online at TicketSmarter. For home games, there will be one window open for printed tickets and one window open for e-tickets.

For additional questions, contact the Rex front office by phone at (812) 478-3817 or by email at frontoffice@rexbaseball.com.