Sorokowski Dazzles in Final Start while the Tom Sox Defeat Purcellville 6-5
By: Zach Hamilton
The Charlottesville Tom Sox (13-6) got a strong start from Justin Sorokowski and defeated the Purcellville Cannons (11-11) 6-5 at C-Ville Weekly Ballpark. Nick Oar and Zac Ching led the offense for the Tom Sox with two RBIs each in the win. Purcellville’s five-run seventh inning was cut short thanks to great relay to the plate that beat the tying run to end the inning.
In his last start in a Tom Sox uniform, Sorokowski wasted no time adding to his already impressive strikeout total for the summer. While all three batters that he faced in the first reached a full count, he retired all three, including two strikeouts. Charlottesville had a chance to hop on the board in the bottom of the first after a Zac Ching single and back-to-back hit-by-pitches for Dom D’Alessandro and Nick DiPonzio. However, the Tom Sox couldn’t find the key hit and left the bases loaded.
Sorokowski added two more strikeouts in a three-up, three-down top of the second, while Charlottesville got the best of Will Guay. With one out, Nick Oar singled but was then erased by a fielder’s choice that left Alex Mardiney on first base. Anthony Lazar moved Mardiney up 90 feet with a walk to put two runners on for Ching. The VCU product collected his second hit in as many innings and picked up two RBIs to give Charlottesville the early 2-0 lead. Purcellville got a one-out double from Kam Armstrong that left the Cannons poised to score, but Sorokowski had other plans and worked out of the jam.
Looking for insurance in the bottom of the third, D’Alessandro walked and Nick Bellafronto doubled to left-centerfield to put runners on second and third with two away for Nick Oar. The California kid crushed a line-drive single that plated both D’Alessandro and Bellafronto to expand the margin to 4-0. Guay would not escape the third and finished with a line of 2 2/3 innings, seven hits, four runs, three walks, two hit-by-pitches and two strikeouts. Chezzare Gonzales came on in relief and quieted the Tom Sox bats in the fourth and fifth.
Meanwhile, Sorokowski persuaded the coaching staff for a fifth inning of work in his final outing and completed his night with five innings pitched, no runs, two hits, seven strikeouts, and one walk. The one walk was the only one of the season for the right-hander. Charlottesville went back on the attack in the sixth inning. Two consecutive walks to begin the frame ended Gonzales’s night but D’Alessandro welcomed Dalton Oats to the ballgame by driving in the fifth run. With runners on the corners, Nick DiPonzio pulled a safety squeeze to score the sixth and final run for Charlottesville.
Cameron Weinberger came on in relief of Sorokowski and pitched a 1,2,3 sixth inning. In the seventh, the Cannon’s offense started firing on all cylinders. After a strikeout to begin the frame, three singles, plus a walk and hit-by-pitch decreased the lead to 6-3. Tekwaa Whyte brought home a run on an RBI-single. In a two-run ballgame, Shaggy Freeland singled to leftfield and a run came home, but a strong relay from the outfield cut down the tying run at the plate.
The Tom Sox made another call to the bullpen for Jared Wetherbee in the eighth inning. The reliever struck out the side four his second consecutive outing. Closer Antonio Menendez came on and shut the Cannons down in the ninth to end the contest at a 6-5 score.
Sorokowski picked up his second win of the summer while Guay earned the loss. Menendez came on and picked up his second save of the summer for Charlottesville, which remains in second place in the South Division. Purcellville fall to third in the North Division and will head home to host Harrisonburg at 7pm on Tuesday. The Tom Sox will travel to Covington on Tuesday night for a 7pm first pitch.