Tom Sox Continue Home Field Mojo, Walk Off Cannons 5-4
By: Zach Hamilton
Justin Sorokowski dazzled with six strikeouts, while the Purcellville’s bullpen squandered a late lead at C-Ville Weekly Ballpark. The first eight innings might have gone casually, but the ninth inning provided plenty of excitement with Patrick McColl’s walk-off single that gave the Tom Sox a 5-4 win. Zac Ching provided the pop for the Tom Sox with two RBI-doubles including driving in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth.
Strikeouts were the theme of the night for both teams with the two squads striking out a total of 25 times in the contest. The starting pitchers for both the Tom Sox and the Cannons turned in strong outings. Charlottesville’s Justin Sorokowski worked out of trouble in first inning by stranding two Cannons on base. In the top of the second inning, Purcellville’s Dylan Watts drove a ball into the right-center field and later came around to score the game’s first run on Blade Baker’s RBI-single.
The Tom Sox found an answer in the bottom of the third when Jalen Harrison and Max Bazin found their way on base via a walk and single. Centerfielder Jack Morris then delivered a sac-fly to tie the game and Erik Stock followed that with an RBI-single to give Charlottesville a 2-1 lead. Sorokowski couldn’t work around another lead-off base runner in the fourth inning and Purcellville struck with an RBI-single by third baseman Blake Simmons to tie the game at 2-2.
Sorokowski’s night came to an end after fourth inning and six strikeouts. Cannon’s starter, Dalton Whitaker, came back out for the fifth inning but the Tom Sox sent him packing after getting just one out in the inning. The first of two Zac Ching doubles on the night, pushed a run home that was charged to Whitaker in the fifth inning. The middle innings of the ballgame lacked offense from both teams. Jake Hershman entered the ballgame for the Tom Sox in the fifth and never looked back. The right-hander threw four no-hit innings while striking out five batters. Anthony Zimmerman and Kody Gardere combined for almost three hitless innings for the Cannons as well.
The Tom Sox handed the ball to reliever Bryce Bowen for the ninth with a 3-2 lead. The Cannons led off the inning with a walk by T.K. McWhertor. He then scored on a throwing error by the third baseman on a tough play to tie the game. While the ball rolled down the right-field line, Matt Koehler advanced all the way to third base. Catcher Kyle Hayes poked a single through the infield, which allowed Koehler to score. Nick Roth came into the ballgame and got Blade Baker to strikeout to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Jack Morris reached base with one out on an error by the second baseman for the Cannons. Zac Ching found a fastball from Trey Alderman and cashed in with his second double of the night that drove home Morris to tie the game. With Ching on second, Head Coach Corey Hunt made a move to the bench and brought in pinch hitter Patrick McColl. The Harvard product cracked a single to left that drove home Ching for the walk-off victory. Nick Roth (1-0) picked up his first win of the season, while Trey Alderman (0-1) took the loss.
On Wednesday, the Tom Sox (2-1) will head out on the road to face the Woodstock River Bandits (1-1) at 7pm at Central High School Field. Meanwhile, Purcellville (1-2) head home to Fireman’s Field to host the Front Royal Cardinals (3-0) at 7pm.