Tom Sox Win Fiftieth Game Under Corey Hunt, 15-7
Three innings and two hours into Thursday night’s ballgame in Staunton, the run total had already reached 18. The Charlottesville Tom Sox took advantage of this high scoring rate, using an eight-run second inning to coast to head coach Corey Hunt’s fiftieth victory as the Tom Sox (12-5) defeated the Staunton Braves (9-10), 15-7.
Lead-off hitter Jack Morris started off the game with a walk, which set the tone for an opening three innings in which both pitchers fought to find the strike zone. The Tom Sox loaded the bases before the Braves could force an out, then scored two runners to head into the bottom of the first with a 2-0 lead. Staunton immediately answered back with a lead-off single of their own, taking advantage of two walks and another single to send three men home and reclaim the advantage, 3-2.
After starting off with the lead and then quickly falling behind, the Tom Sox gained it back in fantastic fashion with an eight-run top of the second. Will Allocca started out the inning with a lead-off single. Harrison got on base with a walk, then Morris tipped in a bunt to load the bases. Zac Ching drew a walk to put in a run before Dom D’Alessandro stepped up and scored the three remaining runners on a 3-RBI double. The runs kept coming as the Tom Sox went through the batting order and then started over again: Nick Bellafronto picked up an RBI, Allocca returned and put in two more, and then Jalen Harrison finished off the inning with a sacrifice fly to put the Tom Sox up 10-3.
The Braves refused to go down quietly, tallying three more runs in the bottom of the second to cut the Tom Sox lead to 10-6. The back-and-forth scoring continued into the third frame— the Tom Sox put up a run, and the Braves answered back in turn to set the score at 11-7— but then settled down as the game reached the middle innings.
Cody Maw, coming in as a relief pitcher in the fourth, helped slow down the pace of the outing. In fact, the fourth frame was the first, and only, six-batter inning of the entire ballgame. With his pitching, as well as with some strong final-inning Ks from closer Jack Barry, the Tom Sox were able to hold the Braves off the board for the rest of the game while they racked up four more runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Two RBIs from David Harding, one from Allocca and one more from Harrison brought the final score to 15-7.
The Tom Sox tallied 10 hits and drew a double-digit walk total for just the second time this summer. D’Alessandro went five for six at the plate and batted in five runs, while Bellafronto, Harding and Allocca also scored multiple runners. Six starters recorded hits, and the three that didn’t— Ching, Nick Oar and Harrison— each drew multiple walks on the night. This offensive explosion won head coach Corey Hunt his fiftieth victory at the helm of the Tom Sox. Charlottesville will fight for his fifty-first in Friday night’s battle for first place in the Valley Baseball League South Division against the Covington Lumberjacks.