Tom Sox Defeat Braves, 6-1
by: Julia Stumbaugh
The road to Wednesday night’s victory was a familiar one for the Charlottesville Tom Sox: Justin Sorokowski provided the defense, while Patrick McColl brought the offense. The two of them combined to lead the Tom Sox (6-2) past the Staunton Braves (5-3), 6-1.
Sorokowski ran through the Braves lineup at a fast clip, only allowing five hits and a single run on 65 pitches and striking out five batters through as many innings. That one run came in the bottom of the second, as a ground ball got just past the glove of a diving Max Bazin to put the home team up 1-0. But in the next inning, pitching troubles landed the Braves in hot water as Chad Cooperman walked two to load the bases. Despite a sparkling double play from Staunton’s defense, a wild pitch allowed the Tom Sox to tie the game. And before the Braves could close out the inning, an RBI single from Anthony Lazar gave Charlottesville its first lead of the game, 2-1.
The tightly pitched outing would continue through the sixth inning, as relief pitcher Jared Wetherbee allowed one walk but struck out three to send the Tom Sox into the seventh still leading by a single run. There, the game opened up. Lazar placed a careful bunt to the left of the pitcher’s mound to load the bases, where Patrick McColl then extended his hitting streak to eight games with a two-RBI single, putting the Tom Sox up 4-1. Things began to spiral out of control for the Braves as two more wild pitches got Lazar and McColl home to extend the visitors’ lead to 6-1.
Jake Hershman closed out the final three innings on the mound for the Tom Sox, striking out five of the Braves’ final nine batters to protect Charlottesville’s five-run lead. With the victory, the Tom Sox will improve to 6-2 on the season and 1-1 against the Braves. Sorokowski will record his first victory of the season. McColl’s batting average has settled to .500, while Lazar led the team with two hits. The Tom Sox will look to create a new win streak as they fight for their third in a row against the Harrisonburg Turks at C-VILLE Weekly Ballpark on Thursday.