Corbin’s Corner: The ‘Sox Continue to Roll

To get you caught up on Charlottesville’s last six ballgames, Corbin’s Corner is back with four developments from a prosperous third week of Valley League action for the ‘Sox.

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Editor’s note: Corbin’s Corner is a weekly wrap-up column written by Tom Sox web editor & staff writer Corbin Lathrop.

Record-high temperatures are expected in much of the Midwest and Northeast in the coming days. While meteorologists are citing a “heat dome” that has settled over much of the United States as the cause, local experts are correlating the event to the fiery Charlottesville Tom Sox (10-3), who won five of six games this past week and hold a two-game advantage in the VBL South Division.

To get you caught up on Charlottesville’s last six ballgames, Corbin’s Corner is back with four developments from a prosperous third week of Valley League action for the ‘Sox.


New faces are making an instant impact at the plate

The Tom Sox’s 10-3 record is best in the VBL, and several new roster additions adjusted quickly to Charlottesville’s winning ways, coming up with clutch knocks in key moments throughout the week. 

David Wiley (Wofford), who is returning for his second summer with the Tom Sox, made his 2024 debut on Tuesday night and got right to work at the plate. The 5’11 rising junior outfielder blasted a three-run home run to break Saturday night’s contest with Waynesboro wide open and is currently riding a five-game hitting-streak.

A Tom Sox fan-favorite who played in 46 games with the Terriers this spring (.308 BA, 4 HR, 45 RBI), Wiley was also part of Sunday night’s ninth-inning rally that propelled Charlottesville to a road win over Covington. Wiley recorded a single and a stolen base before coming around to score as the ‘Sox managed to squeak out a win with their late-game heroics.

Another key part of Sunday night’s ninth-inning rally was Nick Parham (East Carolina), who joined the Tom Sox on Thursday. A 6’0 rising sophomore middle-infielder, Parham smacked a go-ahead two-RBI single to drive in Wiley and Johnnie Lopez (Seminole State), putting Charlottesville up 6-4.

Parham’s ECU teammate Colby Wallace (East Carolina) also made his presence felt this weekend after joining the ‘Sox on Friday. The 6th-ranked prospect in the American Athletic Conference for the 2026 MLB First Year Player Draft according to Perfect Game, Wallace went 4-for-13 in his first three games for the ‘Sox. A 6’2 rising sophomore, Wallace has plugged right into the heart of Head Coach Randy Tomlin’s lineup and is quickly becoming one of Charlottesville’s biggest offensive producers. 


Ethan Gibson continues to catalyze the offense

With Cade Belyeu (Auburn) and Robbie Lavey (George Washington) out of the lineup this past week, Ethan Gibson (Virginia Tech) seamlessly stepped up to lead the offense. A jolt of electricity in the order nearly every at-bat, Gibson has reached base nine times in five games played since Tuesday’s matchup with Covington.

A rising sophomore infielder from Virginia Tech, Gibson is constantly all over the base paths for the ‘Sox. Gibson smacked a triple on Friday against Culpeper, swiped three bags last week, and scored eight runs in five games. It’s hard enough to keep Gibson off base — his 16 walks lead the squad — but his ability to cause chaos once on base is an energizing force that has single-handedly sparked numerous Charlottesville rallies.

Although in enemy territory playing in Charlottesville, the Hokie has become a nightmare for opposing pitchers in the VBL. Gibson is hitting .308 on the season with a .528 on-base percentage while remaining perfect on six stolen base attempts.


The ‘Sox will fly as high as their bullpen will take them

The Charlottesville pitching staff was roughed up to begin the week as Covington and Harrisonburg combined to score 16 runs on Tuesday and Wednesday night, respectively. But since Thursday night, the staff has flipped a switch, showing why they lead the VBL in ERA (3.13) by allowing just 2.75 runs per game over the course of the ‘Sox’s current four-game winning-streak.

Charlottesville’s bats have been a steady force all season long — the ‘Sox have scored fewer than five runs on just two occasions — so when the pitching gets going, opponents have found it nearly impossible to crack the Green and Blue.

Highlighting the recent stretch of dominance on the mound, Isaac Fix (Davidson) strung together a second-consecutive quality performance on Thursday evening, throwing five scoreless innings (Charlottesville’s longest outing by a starter this season) and punching out six Braves while surrendering just two hits and two walks.

Marco Levari (Old Dominion) and Daniel Powell (Kennesaw State) — who have each yet to allow an earned run this season — were equally effective in relief throughout the week. Levari shoved on Friday night, striking out five Cavaliers in three one-hit innings, while Powell had a pair of clean outings on Thursday and Sunday, combining to throw four scoreless innings during which he racked up four strikeouts while surrendering just one hit.


The defense has been a mixed bag

Charlottesville has been knocking the cover off the ball at the dish, and as owners of the third-most strikeouts in the VBL, the pitching staff has been mowing down opposing lineups as of late. But if there’s one thing the ‘Sox could stand to clean up moving forward, it would be the defense.

While Charlottesville has made more than their fair share of highlight-reel plays in the field, some of the routine plays have been causing the ‘Sox some trouble, especially this past week. The ‘Sox committed 11 errors in their last six games, adding to a total (28) that is just one behind the Woodstock River Bandits and Culpeper Cavaliers (29) who share the throne for most errors in the VBL this season.

Obviously, fielding percentage and total errors are far from the most effective statistics to judge the defensive capabilities of a Charlottesville squad that is clearly ripe with talent up and down the roster, but they are metrics which show that despite Charlottesville’s league-leading record, there’s always room for improvement.


Looking ahead:

Like the weather, the ‘Sox schedule is heating up. Charlottesville will be home to host Covington on Tuesday night for what will be Tom-Stock Night at the yard before a pair of midweek road trips to Culpeper and Waynesboro. The ‘Sox will return home on Friday and Sunday for a summer Festivus celebration and a Post-Father’s Day Bash, respectively.

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