Tom Sox Drop Close One to Express, 3-2
The field at First Bank Park is known for big hits and high-scoring ballgames, but the only home run of Wednesday evening’s close outing would belong to Patrick McColl as the Charlottesville Tom Sox (20-15) fell to the Strasburg Express (12-20), 3-2.
The home team got on the board early, as the Express cashed in on a walk and two hits to plate a run on a single from Keaton Rivers and take an early 1-0 lead. Starting pitcher Sean McCracken rallied to strike out the final batter of the frame, stranding a pair of Strasburg runners. He would throw six strikeouts through the first five innings to keep the Tom Sox within one run of tying the game. And McColl did just that in the top of the fourth, booming his second homer of the summer past the fence at center field and knotting the ballgame at 1-1.
The Express threatened again in the sixth inning as Niko Jenkins came in as relief, using two walks and an infield error to load the bases. A timely ground out got the Tom Sox out of the jam, but they too were forced to strand a runner in the next frame as a diving catch from the Strasburg outfield erased an error that had put Dom D’Alessandro on first base.
The Tom Sox managed to get briefly in front of the score when runners on the corners in the top of the eighth turned into a run. Anthony Lazar plated Kirby McMullen to pull Charlottesville ahead, 2-1. However, that advantage was quickly erased by a 2-RBI single off the bat of Mike Koening in the bottom of the ninth that put the Express in the lead once again, 3-2.
A double play from a diving catch by Zac Ching sent the Tom Sox into the top of the ninth down by just a single run, but Charlottesville couldn’t catch up to Strasburg’s late lead and would strand a runner as they conceded the loss, 3-2.
With the defeat, the Tom Sox will drop to 20-15 on the season and 2-5 in contests decided by a single run. They continue this week’s stretch of away games with a trip to Front Royal to face off against the Cardinals, a team currently fighting to come out of a four-game losing skid, on Thursday night.