On a cool and rainy evening in Charlottesville, the Tom Sox clinched what could be their biggest win of the season with a 6-4 victory over the Covington Lumberjacks.
Charlottesville, who came into the game trailing the Lumberjacks by 3 games in the Valley League’s South Division, needed a win to begin closing the gap as the season comes to a close.
Evan Justice, the starter on the mound for the Tom Sox, kept the Covington Lumberjacks at bay for four innings, fanning three batters and only allowing one hit.
His performance gave the Charlottesville offense, down power hitters Dom D’Alessandro and Zac Ching, some breathing room as they looked to continue their offensive rhythm from their 5-3 victory over Winchester the day before.
The Tom Sox got things rolling in the 2nd inning after an RBI single from Brett Centracchio brought home Patrick McColl, who had led off the inning with a triple.
From there, Charlottesville never looked back, adding 4 runs in the third inning off of back-to-back RBI’s from Nick Bellafronto and Patrick McColl, and a massive RBI double from Centracchio that tacked on another two runs.
In the fifth inning, the Tom Sox made their first pitching change of the night, bringing in Cameron Weinberger to replace Justice.
After a Charlottesville error in the same inning, the Lumberjacks were finally able to score their first run. They then followed that up with a sacrifice fly RBI to cut the lead to three.
After just one inning, the Tom Sox made another call to the bullpen and brought in Antonio Menendez to replace Weinberger in the top of the 6th.
Though Covington was able to tack on another run after another RBI sacrifice fly and cut the lead to just two runs, Menendez was able to snag a clutch strikeout to end the inning and get Charlottesville out of trouble.
After another scoreless inning from the Tom Sox, the Lumberjacks continued their offensive charge in the 7th, adding another run off of an RBI groundout. After a hot start from the Tom Sox, their lead was now just 1 run.
After another strikeout from Menendez, Charlottesville was able to get back on the board in the bottom of the 7th thanks to an RBI single from Max Bazin that would officially seal the deal for the Tom Sox.
Menendez’s was able to hold the Lumberjacks scoreless in the eight and the ninth and clinch a massive victory for Charlottesville.
The Tom Sox are now riding a three-game win streak, which they will put to the test with a three game road trip that begins today in Strasburg.
Thanks to an amazing performance from the Tom Sox, the Covington Lumberjacks are now within arms-reach with just eight games left in the regular season.