Tom Sox Beat Generals, 5-3
by: Julia Stumbaugh
The Charlottesville Tom Sox and the Waynesboro Generals spent most of Monday night swinging for hits that wouldn’t come, but a break-through seventh inning where Charlottesville connected for five hits allowed the Tom Sox (9-3) to best the Generals (5-6), 5-3.
The Tom Sox jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the second inning, as Nick DiPonzio put up an RBI single on a fielder’s choice to put the visitors ahead, 1-0. That tally would prove to be important as Charlottesville floundered in the fourth and fifth innings. Two errors in the top of the fourth frame put two Generals on base and scored one to tie the game, 1-1, before Charlottesville could get a single out. Waynesboro then loaded the bases with two outs still to go in the inning. Only a timely strikeout from starting pitcher Sean McCracken kept the Generals from taking the lead.
The Tom Sox weathered another rough inning in the bottom of the fifth, as relief pitcher Bryce Bowen opened the frame with two early walks. Charlottesville’s defense stood strong to close out the inning with the game still tied.
In a game that had now spent several innings in a 1-1 deadlock, it seemed fitting that the first run to break the tie was scored on a tough defensive error. A bouncer from Jack Morris skimmed the glove of Waynesboro’s pitcher before skating just out of an infielder’s reach, scoring DiPonzio and breaking the tie, 2-1.
The hits for Charlottesville— and the errors for Waynesboro— continued to come as the seventh wore on. A single from Zac Ching extended his hitting streak to 10 games, making him the fifth player in Tom Sox history to reach a double-digit stretch. A two-RBI error forced by Patrick McColl put the Tom Sox up 4-1. Dominic D’Alessandro then put a double deep into left field to score the final runner of the frame, padding the visitors’ lead to 5-1 going into the eighth.
Brandon Reitz pitched two quick frames in the seventh and eighth but ran into trouble in the bottom of the ninth, walking the lead-off batter before seeing another get on base on an error. A strong hit along the left field line by Waynesboro’s Chase Cheek scored the first batter before another ran home on a caught out, cutting the Tom Sox lead to two runs. But Reitz coolly struck out the final batter to end the game, and Charlottesville claimed the victory, 5-3. Reitz would pick up the win, putting up four strikeouts, including two in the final frame, and bringing his record to 3-0 on the season.
With Monday’s victory, the Tom Sox improve to 9-3 on the season and 3-3 on the road. They’ll look to stretch their winning streak to three in tomorrow’s rematch against the Generals in Waynesboro.