Heading into their final two regular season games, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts knew they could not ease into the playoffs and needed to turn in complete efforts.
They did just that Tuesday against the FCA Braves, as Tony Gallo picked up four hits and five RBI while Nicholas Charleson shined on the mound in the Thunderbolts’ 7-0 win.
Gallo got the Thunderbolts rolling in the first inning, doubling in DaVonn Griffin to open the scoring.
He followed that up with a two-run double two innings later, extending Silver Spring-Takoma’s lead to three. The Thunderbolts would add another run before the inning ended, spotting Nicholas Charleson a 4-0 lead.
Charleson dominated the Braves from the outset, consistently working ahead in counts and limiting baserunners. He tossed six shutout innings and picked up his first win of the season, striking out seven while allowing four hits.
Meanwhile, the Thunderbolts’ offense continued their steady assault on Braves’ pitching.
Daulton Martin singled in a run in the fourth inning, and Gallo later picked up his third hit of the day with a solo home run in the fifth inning to put Silver Spring-Takoma up by six.
Braves’ starter Mike Smith would be pulled after the fifth, allowing six runs and nine hits while striking out four in five innings. He took the loss.
FCA’s bullpen would cool the Thunderbolts’ offense the rest of the way, allowing just one run on Gallo’s eighth inning single. But their offense continued to struggle against Silver Spring-Takoma’s pitching.
Zeke Gongola, Brady Pearre and Tyler Dyball each pitched a hitless inning out of the bullpen, with Dyball striking out Ryan Morash to end the game, giving the Thunderbolts their milestone 20th win.
Silver Spring-Takoma will look to stay sharp Wednesday against the Bethesda Big Train, completing Sunday’s suspended game in their final tuneup before the playoffs.
Open this thread to see interviews with Tony Gallo and Nicholas Charleson: