HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Charlottesville Tom Sox (18-9) traveled to Eagle Field in Harrisonburg to take on the Turks (16-11) for their final matchup of the regular season. The ‘Sox grabbed an early lead and maintained it for most of the game until the Turks broke through in the bottom of the eighth to steal a 2-1 victory.
Charlottesville started strong with a leadoff single from Kyle Edwards (Old Dominion). Edwards came around to score on three consecutive walks in the top of the first before the Turks retired the Tom Sox with a bases-loaded double play.
Ryan Lynch (Notre Dame) carried the 1-0 advantage into the bottom of the first in his first start for the ‘Sox. Lynch didn’t miss a beat from his dominant relief appearances across the season, collecting his first of six strikeouts in a scoreless first frame. In fact, Lynch cruised through his five-inning appearance without giving up a run, extending his runless innings streak to 19.1. Lynch collected six strikeouts against just two hits and no walks, holding up his end of what became a pitcher’s duel.
For the Turks, starter Robert Kelley managed to keep Charlottesville’s lineup at bay through seven full innings after walking in his only earned run in the first. Despite facing traffic on the basepaths by way of three walks and six hits, Kelley tossed seven strikeouts and consistently worked through jams to keep Harrisonburg in the game.
After a spotless five from Lynch, Lyndon Coleman called upon Hayden Smith (Kentucky) in the sixth to protect the one-run advantage the rest of the way through. Smith delivered in the sixth and seventh innings but ran into trouble in the eighth.
With two outs in the bottom of the frame, Smith conceded a single and a walk. Micah Morgan of the Turks delivered a sharp single to left field to bring around the runner on second and tie the game. Smith was then relieved by Luke Calveric (William and Mary) who threw a costly wild pitch that advanced the runners on base to second and third. Harrisonburg knocked another single which allowed a run to score easily before Garrett Spikes (Georgia) nabbed the second runner at the plate. Despite the high-effort play, the Sox went down 2-1. They were unable to strike back in the ninth.
Though Charlottesville went scoreless after the first inning, they had opportunities on the offensive side. Kalvin Alexander (Georgia Southwestern State) and Henry Ford (Virginia) each had well-struck doubles into the gaps, while Connor Hincks (Notre Dame) went 2-for-3 with two line shot singles. Overall, the ‘Sox left seven runners on base and grounded into double plays to end rally opportunities in both the first and ninth innings.
On the bump, Smith was tagged with the loss after 2.2 innings in which he gave up three hits, two runs, two walks, and two strikeouts.
The Tom Sox return to CHO Airport Field Tuesday night at 7 P.M. to host the New Market Rebels.
Charlottesville went 0-for-12 on the night with runners on base.
After their eight-game win streak was snapped in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, the Tom Sox have lost two of their last three games.
Robert Kelley’s seven innings are the most by an opposing pitcher this season.
The ‘Sox lost their first game of the season when allowing two or fewer runs to their opponents. They were previously 7-0.