Tom Sox Surge to Defeat Cardinals, 7-3
The Charlottesville Tom Sox erased an early deficit with five runs over the fourth and fifth innings to claim a road victory in Front Royal on Thursday night as the Tom Sox (21-15) defeated the Cardinals (20-14), 7-3.
The Tom Sox struggled to find their footing in the first part of Thursday’s ballgame. Their offense went without a base runner through the first three innings, while starting pitcher Hunter McMullen allowed three walks and a hit-by-pitch on defense. Although Charlottesville forced the Cardinals to strand runners on base in the first two frames, the home team finally broke through in the third, getting one runner home on three hits to take the first lead of the game, 1-0.
The Tom Sox rallied in the top of the fourth, getting the top of the batting order on base as Zac Ching, Nick Bellafronto and Pat McColl loaded the bases on a walk and two hits with no outs on the board. Nick Oar tied the game with an RBI single before Brett Centracchio gave the visitors their first lead of the game with another, 2-1. Jack Morris pushed McColl home to finish off the inning on a fielder’s choice, giving the Tom Sox a 3-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the frame.
There, Hunter McMullen struck out two in a quick three-batter frame, sending the Tom Sox back on offense, where they picked up right where they had left off. Dom D’Alessandro scored on an RBI double before the Tom Sox loaded the bases once again, where Morris pushed another walk home by drawing a two-out walk to give Charlottesville a 5-1 advantage.
With the Cardinals struggling to gain momentum in the fifth and sixth innings, the Tom Sox padded the lead with McColl’s third hit of the night, a two-out RBI single that brought the lead to 6-1.
Front Royal started to push back in the sixth inning, taking advantage of three walks to plate a pair of runs, cutting the Tom Sox lead to 6-3. The Tom Sox drew further ahead in the top of the eighth, however, as an infield error scored Ching. With Kirby McMullen pitching three tight innings to close out the ballgame, Charlottesville would end the game in a 7-3 victory.
McColl picked up three hits on the night, scored two runs and recorded a single RBI. The McMullen brothers bookended the victory, with Hunter putting up six strikeouts through five innings and Kirby finishing out with two K’s through three.
With the victory, the Tom Sox will improve to 21-15 on the season. They will finish out a three-game road trip in Waynesboro on Friday before returning home on Saturday to face off against the Harrisonburg Turks in a pair of important division matchups.