Tom Sox Fall to Staunton on Opening Day
By: Zach Hamilton
The Charlottesville Tom Sox began their defense of the 2017 Valley League Baseball Championship on the road at the Staunton Braves on Friday night. The Tom Sox gave the ball to Sean McCracken, 2017 VBL First Team recipient, to oppose Braves starter Nick Stoner from Bloomsburg University. The first three innings of the game turned out to be quite the pitcher’s duel. McCracken struck out three of the first five batters he faced and finished with four strong innings, while only giving up two earned runs. Staunton was threatening in the bottom of the second, centerfielder Jack Morris made a perfect throw to cut down the runner at the plate to end the inning.
The Tom Sox found their bats in the top of the fourth inning; scoring three runs on three hits, two walks and a wild pitch off of Stoner. Anthony Lazar drove in the first run of the ballgame and then later scored on a two-RBI single from Jake Allen. The Braves answered in the bottom of the fourth, plating two runs off of McCracken. Seth Hartings led off the inning for Staunton with a solo-homerun to left-center field. The braves kept the inning going with a single, double, and a groundout to drive in the second run.
Cody Maw relieved McCracken, but the Braves were ready attack. In the bottom of the fifth for the Staunton, Trey Jacobs drove in two runs to take a 4-3 lead. Justin Showalter came in to replace Stoner for the Braves in the fifth inning and only allowed one run in three innings on an RBI single by Jack Morris. In the bottom of the sixth, Maw and catcher Jake Allen had a scary collision trying to catch a popup that resulted in Allen being removed from the contest. The Braves broke the tied score in the bottom of the seventh on a double steal and a groundout. The Tom Sox were never able to climb back into the ballgame as the hits and errors started to pile up. Staunton went on to score three more runs in the bottom of the eight to get to the final score of 9-4.
Anthony Lazar led the Tom Sox at the plate going 2-for-4, while scoring a run and picking up an RBI. Meanwhile, Seth Hartings went 3-for-5 at the plate including a solo homerun. Picking up the win on the mound was Justin Showalter (1-0), while Cody Maw (0-1) was given the loss. Chad Cooperman (1) earned his first save of the summer.
|June 1, 2018||7:30 pm||Valley League Summer||2018|
|531 Thornrose Avenue, Staunton, VA 24401, USA|
|Charlottesville Tom Sox||4||Loss|