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Lumberjacks Rally to Defeat ‘Sox in Extra Innings

In what marked the fifth meeting between the two ball clubs this summer, the Charlottesville Tom Sox (18-7) and Covington Lumberjacks (10-14) squared off in a midweek clash on Wednesday evening. A late-game rally by the Lumberjacks forced extra innings where they secured a 7-6 victory in the 10th.

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Team Linescore
12345678910R H E
CHL Charlottesville 31010000016 8 0
Winner CL Covington 01000201127 10 2
W:
Cesar Valera (1-0)
L:
Chase Stryker (2-1)

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COVINGTON, Va. — In what marked the fifth meeting between the two ball clubs this summer, the Charlottesville Tom Sox (18-7) and Covington Lumberjacks (10-14) squared off in a midweek clash on Wednesday evening. A late-game rally by the Lumberjacks forced extra innings where they secured a 7-6 victory in the 10th.

The Tom Sox started the day off right as they juiced the bases with one out in the opening frame. Caden Ferraro (Blinn College) blasted a 1-1 pitch off the center field wall that scored the first two runs in Ethan Gibson (Virginia Tech) and Jake Books (Coastal Carolina).

Cooper Blauser (Jacksonville State) added to the scoreboard with a sacrifice fly to the center field warning track, allowing Colby Wallace (ECU) to tag up and cross home plate.

C’Ville extended its lead in the second as Dean Mihos (Coastal Carolina) walked and then made a mad dash around the diamond to make it 4-0.

With the offense firing on all cylinders, James Hays (Georgia) went to work on the mound, holding the Lumberjacks to one run and two hits in three innings. The rising sophomore also notched four strikeouts, bringing his total to 17 on the year.

Up 4-1, Ferraro roped a ball down the third base line and into the corner that brought Wallace around for the second time. In what was his third game with the ‘Sox, the Texas native produced two standup doubles and three RBI.

Hays struck out his final batter to start the fourth before Ryan Hanks (Blinn College) made his way onto the bump for his first outing of the summer. Hanks recorded one out before he exited the game due to an injury, forcing head coach Randy Tomlin to quickly pivot to Frank Menendez (Florida).

After a scoreless fifth and top of the sixth, Chenar Brown tallied his fourth home run of the season. The two-run shot cut the ‘Sox lead down to two and forced a pitching change to Will Pearson (Georgia).

Pearson saw an inning and a third of work during which he forced two groundouts, a flyout and a strikeout before Ayden Alexander (George Washington) got the call from Tomlin in the seventh. Alexander escaped the frame but found himself in a jam in the eighth that led to the sixth pitching change of the night in favor of Wallace.

That wouldn’t be the final switch of the inning, however, as Ryan Grzesiak (Florida Southwestern) took the mound after Wallace gave up an RBI single that made it a 5-4 ballgame. With two runners on, Grzesiak dialed up a strikeout and a double play to keep hold of Charlottesville’s one-run advantage. 

The ‘Sox bats couldn’t punch home any insurance runs in the ninth despite putting two runners on with no outs. Covington, on the other hand, loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame with one out and managed to tie the game on a Gregory Mihos single up the middle. The base hit nearly ended the game, but in dramatic fashion, Mihos delivered a perfect throw to catcher Cale Stricklin (Auburn) to gun down the winning run at the plate.

After his incredible defensive play, Mihos dug in at the plate in the top of the 10th and hit an RBI double to left field to hand the Tom Sox a 6-5 lead. 

But the Lumberjacks retired the side without any more damage, and with two runners in scoring position, Quentin Jenkins batted the game-tying run home with an infield single in the bottom of the 10th. Dariel Castillo then brought the game-winning run across with a fielder’s choice to walk-off the ‘Sox. 


Up Next:

The Tom Sox fell to 18-7 on the summer campaign and are now 2-3 in their last five games. They’ll get a day off as the country celebrates the 4th of July before they cap off a four-game road stretch against Waynesboro (9-15) on Friday.


Additional Notes:

  • The loss snapped Charlottesville’s 11-game win streak among games played in the series (not including a forfeit last year).
  • After leaving 14 runners on base tonight, Charlottesville has left double-digit runners on base in each of their last three games.
  • Blake Brookins hit two singles and drew two walks in his ‘Sox debut.
  • Ryan Hanks and Frank Menendez made their debuts on the mound for the Sox.
  • The ‘Sox used eight pitchers in the game, the most on the season, and most since the ‘Sox used nine on June 24 of last season. That game was Charlottesville’s first in close to a week following a string of rain postponements.
  • The nine strikeouts by Covington’s Jorge Rodriguez are the most by an opposing pitcher on the year.
  • The Tom Sox move to 1-1 in extra innings this season.

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