After splitting Sunday’s doubleheader at Woodstock, the Charlottesville Tom Sox took the field against the Staunton Braves Monday night. A slow start from the Tom Sox was quickly forgotten after 5 runs in the fifth and sixth innings that secured the win. The Braves were able to get runners on base throughout the game, but the Sox’s pitchers were able to stop Staunton at critical moments, acting as the biggest difference maker.
Carlos Rodriguez (Florida Southwestern) got his first start of the season on the mound. In a solid two innings pitched, he faced eight batters and earned three strikeouts. He only allowed two baserunners after hitting leadoff hitter Ryan McCarty (Penn State Abington), and Joe Delossantos (William & Mary) dribbled a bunt down the third base line in the second.
McCarty took the mound for the first time this year for Staunton and gave up just a single run in five complete innings. His dominant performance helped slow down the ‘Sox who had 16 runs in their first 3 games. He fanned 5 Charlottesville batters, but as soon as he left the game, the Braves pitching woes, having given up 21 runs in their first 3 games, continued.
Offensively, Charlottesville’s bats only combined for 7 hits in 9 innings, but their five runs were enough to set up a victory. The Tom Sox scored 4 runs in the sixth inning alone. Josh Emerson (Liberty) came in for relief but only lasted for a third of an inning. Cole Foster (Auburn) hit a laser to the right field fence for a double. Next up, Makenzie Pate (Coastal Carolina) knocked a single back up the middle to move Foster to third, and a five pitch walk of Alex Urban (Clemson) loaded the bases. Emerson seemed to have turned his luck around with a strikeout, but a fielding error by shortstop Kent Rooklin (WVU Tech) of the Braves allowed Foster to start the ‘Sox’s rally. A 2 RBI single by Gehrig Ebel (Virginia Tech) and a grounder from Brett Lindsay (Eastern Mennonite) moved the Sox’s lead to four.
Solid rotational pitching from Charlottesville cooled the Braves’ hot bats from their 27 run weekend. After Rodriguez’s start, Christian Williams (TCU) recorded 4 strikeouts in his two innings of work. Two hit batters, a wild pitch, and a walk helped the Braves score their lone run under his watch. Williams escaped by stranding three Braves’ baserunners. In the fifth, Brady Kirtner (Virginia Tech) came on for Williams and held Staunton hitless. He did hit the Braves’ right fielder Ian Diaz (UMBC) to record the Sox’s fourth hit batter. Noah Overton (UNC Wilmington) took the mound in the seventh and eighth innings. He walked his first two batters and a single by Staunton’s Diaz loaded the bases, but a strikeout and 2 flyouts helped him get out of the jam unscathed. Finally, Will Morrison (Auburn) recorded the save after facing four Staunton batters. He clinched Charlottesville Tom Sox history after hitting a fifth Staunton batter in the ninth. Even with more than a few pitching miscues, the Sox shutdown the Braves for a 5-1 victory.
The Charlottesville Tom Sox move to 3-1 on the season. Catch the Sox in action at Crutchfield Park Thursday night as they take on Staunton again at 7. Admission is free all summer thanks to our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!
The Tom Sox’s five hit-by-pitches tied a team record.
Charlottesville limited their opponent to one run for the second consecutive game.
Makenzie Pate has reached base in every game this season and has multiple hits in 2 of the 4 games.
10 of Staunton’s 14 batters to reach base did so via a free pass.
The ‘Sox have stolen a franchise-record 14 stolen bases through their first four games.