NewsPlex – July 5 – Tom Sox have had Valley League’s best lineup

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) — First baseman Vinnie Pasquantino has taken a pretty simple approach to the plate this summer for the Tom Sox.

“If I go up there, I’m swinging. And people know it,” Pasquantino admitted Wednesday afternoon. “I hear it in other dugouts all the time. ‘First-pitch swinger.’ That’s fine. They know my game, I know my game, and we’ll see who wins with that.”

Pasquantino, a rising sophomore from Old Dominion, has been hitting in the middle of the order for the Tom Sox all season. He’s been one of the key contributors to a lineup that, through Wednesday afternoon, had the best team batting average (.294) and the most hits (262), and had scored the most runs (174) in the Valley League.

“One through nine, our guys are all three hitters, pretty much. Two and three hitters, which is awesome for a summer team. I don’t think you see that too much,” Pasquantino said. “And we just have a lineup full of hitters, and other teams don’t want to pitch to us. Nobody does. They don’t want to see us.”

Pasquantino’s .359 batting average in 21 games is second on the Tom Sox and ninth in the league this summer. He’s also eighth in the league with a .511 slugging percentage and tied for fourth in the Valley with 21 RBI.

“I’ve mainly just seen the ball deep, and I just try to put a good barrel on it,” Wielansky said. “Nothing too special, just kind of see the ball, hit the ball.”

Wielansky is one of two players to appear in all 24 games for the Tom Sox this summer. At 18-6, the team has already matched the franchise’s single-season record for wins, and will head to Front Royal with the best record in the Valley this season. Tuesday’s loss snapped a franchise-record eight-game winning streak for the Sox.

The season began with a 14-2 win at Covington, with Wielansky and Pasquantino hitting second and third in the Tom Sox lineup. That was the first of five double-digit scoring outputs for the Sox so far this summer — and Pasquantino says that performance set an early tone for the season.

“Oh, it’s fun. Especially when you can get it to the next guy and know that he’s going to do something with it,” said Wielansky. “And I think everybody up and down the lineup, it’s just, everyone hits and everyone just gets it to the next guy. And it’s fun putting up a lot of runs, always.”

SIX SOX PICKED TO REPRESENT VALLEY LEAGUE

Wielansky and Pasquantino were among six players from the Tom Sox named to the Valley League’s team for the first-ever Southern Collegiate Showcase on Wednesday. The event is scheduled for July 15-16 in Kannapolis, NC, with the Valley’s team set to play three games against all-star teams from other summer leagues.

Catcher Brandon Johnson was the other position player selected from the Sox. The Valley League roster also includes three Charlottesville pitchers: Rick Spiers, Albemarle High School alum Joe Burris, and UVA right-hander Evan Sperling.

A Tom Sox spokesperson said Wednesday that Sperling isn’t expected to pitch at the two-day showcase.


By Damon Dillman |