Royals Grand Slam Downs Tom Sox, 8-4
The top of Charlottesville’s batting order all connected for hits on Thursday night, but three home runs, including a grand slam, from the Winchester Royals sunk the visitors as the Tom Sox (14-9) fell to the Royals (11-12), 8-4.
The Tom Sox were the first to tally a hit as Dom D’Alessandro connected for a lead-off single in the top of the second. D’Alessandro would become one of Charlottesville’s eight stranded runners on the night as the Royals answered back in convincing fashion with home runs from Samyr Santos and Raymond Gil in the next inning to make the score 3-0 heading into the third.
Charlottesville got one back in the next frame as Max Bazin scored on a fly out to cut the home team’s advantage to 3-1. But the Royals used the next two innings to pull even farther away, knocking in a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fourth before adding four more runs on a grand slam by Chadwick Feeley in the fifth to bring the lead to 8-1.
A comeback push came for the Tom Sox in the seventh as a lead-off walk followed by three consecutive singles ended up pushing three runners home to cut the Royals’ lead in half, 8-4. Despite that late surge and a quick three-batter top of the eighth pitched by Kirby McMullen, Royals closer Bryan Whitacre threw four strikeouts in the final two innings to keep the Tom Sox off the board and claim the walk-off win for Winchester. The fifth-inning grand slam would stand as the game-winning hit in the 8-4 ballgame.
The top four batters for Charlottesville had a solid night at bat as Zac Ching, Alex Mardiney, Patrick McColl and Dom D’Alessandro all knocked in hits. With his seventh-inning single to load the bases, McColl has now extended his hitting streak to eight games, chasing his own record as he looks to match a 12-game streak he recorded earlier this summer. Bazin got on base in three of his four at-bats and ran home for two of Charlottesville’s four runs.
With this loss, the Tom Sox fall to 14-9 on the season and have lost two games in a row for just the second time this summer. They’ll look to snap the losing streak on Friday as they take on division rivals the Covington Lumberjacks at C-VILLE Weekly Ballpark.