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Belyeu’s Bomb Backs Tom Sox in 9-5 Win

On “Festivus Night” at the ballpark, the Charlottesville Tom Sox (13-4) were the masters of their domain, saying “no soup (or win) for you” to the Harrisonburg Turks (8-8) with a 9-5 victory. The Seinfeld tribute was a hit for the ‘Sox as they defeated the Turks for the first time this season in front of a nice crowd at Willie T. Barnett Field. C’Ville was backed by a Cade Belyeu (Auburn) three-run homer in his return to the lineup that highlighted a six-run bottom of the second.

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Team Linescore
123456789R H E
HT Harrisonburg 1013000005 7 1
Winner CHL Charlottesville 16100100X9 10 2
W:
Ayden Alexander (209-0)
L:
Benjamin Craig (0-1)
S:
Daniel Powell (3)

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — On “Festivus Night” at the ballpark, the Charlottesville Tom Sox (13-4) were the masters of their domain, saying “no soup (or win) for you” to the Harrisonburg Turks (8-8) with a 9-5 victory. The Seinfeld tribute was a hit for the ‘Sox as they defeated the Turks for the first time this season in front of a nice crowd at Willie T. Barnett Field. C’Ville was backed by a Cade Belyeu (Auburn) three-run homer in his return to the lineup that highlighted a six-run bottom of the second.

The Turks, who had beaten the Tom Sox by a margin of 22-9 in the two prior meetings between the clubs this season, picked up right where they left off by plating a run in the top of the first.

Charlottesville didn’t wait long to score the equalizer, as Belyeu doubled, stole a base, and scored on a wild pitch to tie things up 1-1 at the end of the first frame.

“It was great to have him back,” Head Coach Randy Tomlin said on Belyeu’s return. “You know, he’s a big part of our lineup, and it’s good to get Robbie [Lavey (George Washington)] back as well and get them back in their spots.”

The double from Belyeu proved to be just a preview of what was in store for the Tom Sox offense in the next inning as Charlottesville exploded for six runs on three hits in the second.

Johnnie Lopez (Seminole State) was hit by a pitch to start the rally and driven home on an RBI double from David Wiley (Wofford). With Wiley on second, Nick Parham (East Carolina) and Cale Stricklin (Auburn) each worked walks to load the bases. Ethan Gibson (Virginia Tech) singled, driving in both Wiley and Parham to extend the Tom Sox lead to 4-1.

But the ‘Sox didn’t stop there. With Stricklin and Gibson on the bases, Belyeu picked up where he left off, crushing a three-run home run — his fifth long ball of the season.

“I saw the ball well tonight, stayed calm in the box and got a good pitch to hit on both of those swings,” Belyeu said. “Coming back how I left off was huge and so was getting some momentum for the team with both of those swings.”

At the end of the offense-laden bottom of the second, Charlottesville held a 7-1 lead over Harrisonburg.

In the top of the third, the Turks got a run back on an error and a pair of singles. In the bottom of the inning, though, the ‘Sox took the run right back when Lopez was hit by a pitch and eventually driven in on an RBI single from Stricklin.

The top of the fourth marked the conclusion of ‘Sox starting pitcher Trevor Booton’s (Auburn) outing. The right-hander finished the night allowing three runs on three hits and four walks while fanning four batters in three innings of work.

With the score sitting at 8-2, Harrisonburg successfully kept the game within striking distance by scoring three runs on six walks in the top of the fourth to trim the deficit to 8-5.

Ryan Grzesiak (Florida Southwestern) tossed two innings in relief of Booton, allowing just one run with four walks and two strikeouts.

The Tom Sox tallied on some insurance in the bottom of the sixth. Colby Wallace (East Carolina) reached base and was brought home on a single by Ryan Wynn (Wofford). It wrapped up a two-hit performance by Wynn that extended his hitting-streak to eight games. It’s a streak that, for Wynn, makes him feel like everything is “coming together” in his game.

“I’m getting the pitches I want to hit and putting good swings out there on the field,” Wynn said. “Everything I’ve been working on is really paying off — it feels good.”

In a scary moment later in the sixth inning, Wiley was hit in the face by a pitch. He left the game with training staff and local first responders and did not return.

At the end of six frames, C’Ville led 9-5. The score stuck the rest of the way, due in part to four scoreless innings spun by Ayden Alexander (George Washington) and Daniel Powell (Kennesaw State). Powell earned a six-out save, his third save of the summer.

The first win over the Turks was one Coach Tomlin was excited to finally nab, and one he accredited the entire team for helping secure.

“I’m proud of our guys for swinging the bats and for a good portion of the game, putting zeroes up and pitching them off,” Coach Tomlin said. “They’ve got a really good team, and they played really well, but that’s the game of baseball, you want competitiveness and it’s good to get a win against them.”


UP NEXT

The Charlottesville Tom Sox hit the road Saturday for a 7 p.m. clash with the Staunton Braves at John Moxie Stadium.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

  • Despite missing eight games this season, Belyeu is still tied for the VBL’s home run lead at five.
  • Charlottesville earned their first win against Harrisonburg since June 15, 2023. The Turks had won five straight in the series prior to today’s loss.
  • Belyeu’s three RBI earned him a team-leading sixth multi-RBI game of the season in just his ninth game.

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