D’Alessandro Goes Yard Twice as Ching Drives in Five in Win over Woodstock
By: Zach Hamilton
D’Alessandro goes yard twice as Ching drives in five more in 16-5 win over the Woodstock River Bandits on Thursday night. Michael Portela shined in his first appearance of the summer for Charlottesville, while all nine Tom Sox scored at least one run. D’Alessandro has now hit a homerun in three of his last five games as he appears to be heating up at the right time for the Tom sox.
In what has become a recent trend, the Charlottesville Tom Sox jumped on the scoreboard early at Central High School. Brett Centracchio extended the top of the first inning with a two out walk. Dom D’Alessandro came to the plate and crushed his fifth homerun of the season to centerfield to make it 2-0. Meanwhile, Colby Lee took to the mound for his first outing of the season with Charlottesville, but the River Bandits were ready. A lead-off single by Riley Branvold later turned into a run as Clayton Jefferies hit into a double-play.
Woodstock starter, Austin Bissell settled down and put the Tom Sox away in the second and third innings. Lee followed suit and it was still 2-1 after three innings of play. D’Alessandro began the fourth inning with a bang by blasting his second homerun in as many at bats. Charlottesville kept their foot on the gas, scoring four more runs in the inning. Nick Bellafronto singled and later scored on an RBI single by Kirby McMullen. After Max Bazin reached on an error, Jalen Harrison hit his second homerun of the season to centerfield and ballooned the margin to 7-1.
However, the River Bandits answered right back with three runs of their own. A lead-off walk issued by Lee came around and scored on an RBI dropped third strike. Woodstock continued the great inning on offense using a double and two more singles to make it 7-4. Lee finished with four innings while giving up eight hits and four runs, plus three strikeouts. Michael Portela made his first appearance of the summer for the Tom Sox in relief of Lee, but a hit-by-pitch began the fifth inning and Woodstock narrowed the deficit to 7-5.
Tyler Showers came on for the River Bandits in the fifth inning looked sharp. It was a different story in the top of the sixth however, has Charlottesville plated four more runs off of Showers. Zac Ching checked in with a bases-clearing double and later scored the fourth run of the inning on an RBI-single by D’Alessandro to make it 11-5. The Tom Sox added an insurance run in the top of the seventh via the fourth RBI of the night for Ching as he singled home Max Bazin to make the score 12-5.
Kirby McMullen added more distance in the eighth inning by bringing home two more runs on a double, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. Ching collected two more runs batted-in in the ninth as he grounded out to third. Antonio Menendez came on in relief of Portela, who dazzled with four innings, four hits, one run, and seven strikeouts. Working with a 16-5 advantage, Menendez set the River Bandits down in order in ninth to put Charlottesville back in the win column.
Michael Portela earned his first win of the summer in his first appearance thanks to four fantastic innings. Meanwhile, Austin Bissell picked up his third loss of the season for Woodstock. Charlottesville’s win leaves them in third place in the south division as the River Bandits fall to 4-24 on the summer. The Tom Sox will head back to C-Ville Weekly Ballpark to host the Staunton Braves at 6pm on Friday night. Woodstock will travel to Purcellville for a battle with the Cannons at 7pm on Friday night.