Tom Sox and Cardinals Split Monday Double Header in Battles of the Top Teams
By: Zach Hamilton
Charlottesville and Front Royal split double header in battle of the top teams. Front Royal picked up the win in game one, 6-2. Dom D’Alessandro crushed his third homerun of the season in the loss. In game two, the Tom Sox found their offense and knocked off the Cardinals 17-0. Brett Centracchio hit his first homerun of the season while all nine batters in Charlottesville’s lineup scored at least one run.
In game one, Charlottesville wasted no time jumping on the scoreboard with an RBI single by Alex Mardiney that scored Anthony Lazar, who had led off the inning with a double. Pitching with a lead, Kyle Nicolas took control of the Cardinals on the mound. He struck out three over his first three innings of work and only allowed two base runners, both via the walk.
Front Royal was finally able to put the offense together in the top of the fourth inning. A one out walk by Alex Briggs was followed up by a single from Webb Little. With runners on the corners and only one out, Bradly Ballstadt singled and plated Briggs to tie the contest at 1-1. The Cardinals kept the offense going in the inning with another single by Sam Little. However, Webb Little was thrown out at the plate to end the frame on a great throw from Nick DiPonzio in leftfield.
The Tom Sox answered right back in the bottom half of the inning as Dom D’Alessandro crushed his third homerun of the summer with a blast to deep rightfield. Now up 2-1, Corey Hunt made a call to the bullpen and brought on Kirby McMullen for his second appearance of the campaign. Roman Miranda greeted McMullen with a single to lead off the fifth and later came around to tie the game on a sac-fly by Brandon Krennrich. In the bottom of the sixth, Charlottesville put the winning run on base, but Front Royal’s Hayden Harris stranded the threat.
The Cardinals took the lead for good in the seventh. Four runs came across to score on four hits including a double and triple. Front Royal took game one by a score of 6-2, while Harris picked up the win and Hunter McMullen was given the loss.
Charlottesville looked to salvage a split in the double header in game two. After starter Jake Hershman set the Cardinals down in order, Anthony Lazar and Zac Ching began the first with back-to-back walks. McColl then doubled off the wall in rightfield and plated Lazar to make it 1-0. D’Alessandro added another RBI with no outs on a groundout that increased the margin to 2-0.
Front Royal put two runners on in the second but couldn’t score. Brett Centracchio added a bomb to rightfield, his first of the season, to make it 3-0 after two innings. With the lead, Hershman retired the side in order in the third, but the Tom Sox broke it open in the bottom half of the inning. Five runs on four hits and one error expanded the margin to 8-0 Charlottesville. McColl extend his hitting streak to eleven games with his second double of the game and D’Alessandro drove him in with a double of his own.
Hershman wrapped up his four innings of work with no runs scored and one strikeout. Tom Sox poured it on in the fourth, scoring six more runs as twelve batters came to the plate. Now with a commanding 14-0 lead, Antonio Menendez came on and completed three clean innings of relief. The Tom Sox added three runs in the sixth inning to extend their lead to the final score of 17-0.
Jake Hershman (1-0) earned the win and Menendez collected his second save of the season. Ross (0-1) took the loss for the Cardinals. The Tom Sox move their record to 16-11 and are a half game back of Covington. Front Royal moves to 17-7 and is in first place in the north division. Charlottesville will host Staunton on Tuesday night with first pitch slated for 7pm and the Cardinals will host the Winchester Royals for a 7pm tilt.