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Early Fireworks Propel Tom Sox over Lumberjacks

On a beautiful Tuesday evening at Willie T. Barnett Field, the Charlottesville Tom Sox (6-2) used an early offensive explosion to propel them to a 10-6 victory over the Covington Lumberjacks (3-4). The ‘Sox sent all the fans home happy on Healthcare Worker Appreciation Night, but none happier than two fans who got engaged at the yard.


Team Linescore
123456789R H E
CL Covington 0000015006 6 2
Winner CHL Charlottesville 20710000X10 8 1
Marco Levari (1-0)
Luke Wilkerson (0-2)
Ryan Grzesiak (1)


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — In the words of Bruno Mars, it was a beautiful night at Willie T. Barnett Field and the Charlottesville Tom Sox (6-2) were looking for something dumb to do when an early offensive explosion propelled them to a 10-6 victory over the Covington Lumberjacks (3-4). The ‘Sox sent all the fans home happy on Healthcare Worker Appreciation Night, but none happier than two fans who got engaged at the yard (congratulations from the Tom Sox media team).

Ethan Sutton (Georgia) came out firing with a 1-2-3 top of the first to tee up the Tom Sox bats.

Leading off the bottom of the first, Ethan Gibson (Virginia Tech) reached on an error, and with some help from a few passed balls, came around to score the game’s first run. Charlottesville tacked on another shortly thereafter by way of a Robbie Lavey (George Washington) solo shot down the right field line. Lavey’s third home run of the season gave the Tom Sox a 2-0 lead at the end of the first.

A quiet second inning and top of the third by the visitors gave way to a wild bottom of the third from the home team. Gibson again reached base — this time on a walk — before the Virginia Tech infielder raced all the way from first to third on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on a Tommy Roldan (Virginia) RBI groundout.

The buck certainly didn’t stop there, though, as Cade Belyeu (Auburn) singled and scored on a Lavey double. With Lavey on and Gavin Miller (Houston) joining him on the base paths after being hit by a pitch, Johnnie Lopez (Seminole State) uncorked a no doubt home run to expand the Tom Sox lead to 7-0. 

“Honestly, it felt good,” Lopez said of his second home run of the season. “The momentum was on our side and I was just trying to get some runs in and help the team win.”

Charlottesville scored two more in the bottom of the third as Sam Mummau (Florida) doubled in James Taussig (UTSA) before Jack McMullan (Liberty) came around to score on a bases loaded hit by pitch of Belyeu. It was the fifth-straight game that Belyeu was hit by a pitch, capping off a chaotic third that saw the ‘Sox expand their lead to 9-0. 

The Tom Sox blanked the Lumberjacks in the top of the fourth in what would be the final inning of a terrific start for Sutton. In four stellar innings, Sutton finished his outing without allowing a hit or run, walking just two batters while punching out three. It was a start that the Georgia Bulldog was admittedly jubilant about.

“I haven’t been on the mound in a little bit and to get back on there and fill the strike zone up a bit was really good for me. I was excited about it,” Sutton said.

In the bottom of the fourth, C’Ville plated another. Miller laced a triple and scored on an RBI sacrifice fly from Lopez, who finished his day with four runs driven in. At the end of five innings, the Tom Sox held a dominant 10-0 advantage.

Covington would score a run in the top of the sixth, but Marco Levari (Old Dominion) polished off a solid two innings of work, allowing just one run on three hits while fanning three and earning the win after relieving Sutton.

Trailing 10-1 in the top of the seventh, the Lumberjacks began to rake. Five runs were scored for the squad on three hits, with a few errors and walks aiding the visitors in trimming the deficit to 10-6. 

Will Pearson (Georgia), who came in for Levari, finished with a final line of 0.2 innings pitched with five runs allowed (two of those earned) on four hits and three walks. 

Charlottesville would stymie Covington from there as Ryan Grzesiak (Florida Southwestern) earned the save in 2.1 scoreless innings of relief during which he struck out four Lumberjacks and walked just one. 

The rising junior tied a bow on the win, earning the save and giving the Tom Sox their sixth win in their last seven games.


The Charlottesville Tom Sox travel to Harrisonburg tomorrow to take on the Turks. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Eagles Field as C’Ville seeks to avenge this past Sunday’s win-streak-snapping loss.

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