STAUNTON, Va. – 30. That’s how many runs the Tom Sox (22-10) scored in Monday’s (July 17) doubleheader at Staunton, winning two games by run-rule to sweep the season series against the Braves (12-22). They won game one by a 19-2 score, tying the team single-game runs and scoring margin records, before winning game two 11-1.
The 30 total runs mark a new team record for runs in a single day, as does the 27-run differential. The ‘Sox collected 12 hits in both contests, with six different players collecting multi-hit games. Connor Hincks (Notre Dame) stood out with two hits in both contests, scoring five runs, walking four times, and driving in a run. Aidan Teel (Virginia) went 3-for-6 on the day with six runs scored, five RBI, and three free passes.
‘Sox pitching also had a dominant showing, as four pitchers combined to allow just three earned runs, seven hits, and four walks across ten innings. Mark Perkins (Rice) threw a dominant 3.2 innings in game one, allowing no runs, one hit, striking out four, and walking none. David Utagawa (UC Irvine) struck out a career-high six batters across his four innings in game two, holding the Braves scoreless through his final three innings and walking one.
With the pair of wins, the Tom Sox swept the season series against the Braves for the first time in their eight-season history (albeit only playing four games) and have won six-straight in the series, tied for their longest win streak in the series. The game one victory set new series records for total runs and scoring margin.
GAME 1 – Charlottesville 19, Staunton 2
Charlottesville wasted no time getting on the board early, as the first three batters reached to set up a bases loaded, no-out scenario against Braves starter (and former ‘Sox hitter) Drew Jones. An RBI walk of Chris Arroyo (Florida) brought the first run home, and Henry Ford (Virginia) brought two more home to give the Tom Sox an early 3-0 advantage.
The lead would only grow in the second, as nine ‘Sox batters combined to score five more runs and bring the lead to 8-0. The first four batters of the inning reached once again, with two scoring on a throwing error by Braves third baseman Jeff Snider on a bunt single by Hincks. Another bunt – this one by Teel – brought Hincks home, and a double by Brady Gumpf (Notre Dame) scored one more.
As if the 8-0 advantage wasn’t enough, the Tom Sox doubled it in the third off of Braves reliever Crew Egan, sending 13 batters to the plate in an all-out mercy. All but one batter – Kalvin Alexander – reached base in the inning, all of whom scored a run in the frame.
The first eight batters of the inning reached base, beginning with a trio of free passes and a fielder’s choice to load the bases with one away. Nathan Fink (Florida Southwestern) drove home the first two with a single through the left side, then two more were brought in on an Arroyo double. Gumpf plated Arroyo with his second-straight RBI knock before Brice Martinez (Wofford) did the biggest damage with a three-run, opposite-field double to make it 16-0.
After going down quietly in the fourth off position player reliever Noah Canterbury, the Charlottesville offense made their final mark in the fifth. Martinez reached on a two-out error by Snider and Hincks walked before Teel did the damage, crushing his first collegiate home run in the trees to right-center field to make it 18-0.
Lucas Cash (Wake Tech CC) took the ball from Perkins in the fourth after Perkins hit the 50-pitch mark and immediately got out of the inning, forcing an easy groundout to Martinez. Now working with a 19-run advantage, Cash and the ‘Sox defense loosened a bit, allowing the first three batters of the fifth to reach on a single and pair of walks. Staunton ended the shutout with a sacrifice fly from Owen Prince and got one more back on an RBI single from Joey Parliment, but the damage was already done.
GAME 2 – Charlottesville 11, Staunton 1
The Tom Sox began the second game in a similar fashion as the first, attacking early for five runs in the top of the first. An RBI single by the 3-hole hitter Teel brought in the first run before the bottom of the order did damage, with three straight hitters collecting RBIs. Ford scored Hincks with a sacrifice fly before David Wiley (Wofford) barreled his first extra-base hit of the season, hitting a double to the wall in left-center field to score Teel. The next batter, Salvy Alvarez (Florida Southwestern) traded places with him, hitting a two-run double to right to make it 5-0 before Staunton touched a bat.
David Utagawa took the ball for Charlottesville and got himself into trouble early, loading the bases with a trio of singles to bring in Staunton’s first run. He was able to keep the Braves at one, though, as Brady Maciak struck out to strand two runners and leave the Tom Sox with a four-run advantage.
The Tom Sox scored four more in the third to extend their advantage, all four of which came with two outs. Alvarez collected his second RBI with a single to score Wiley, and he was quickly scored by a Garrett Spikes (Georgia) double. Back-to-back RBI singles from Hincks and Teel scored the final two runs of the frame, the latter of whom secured his fifth RBI of the night.
Utagawa cruised after the early dent in the first, walking one and allowing a single but otherwise holding the Braves’ hitters off the field and the scoreboard.
Charlottesville scored their 29th and 30th runs of the day in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively. A sacrifice fly from Wiley scored Arroyo – who reached base on a leadoff walk – in the fourth, then Arroyo provided the damage in the fifth with a single to score Teel, who reached on a one-out hit-by-pitch.
Hayden Smith (Kentucky) closed the game for the ‘Sox, walking the leadoff batter but getting Parliment to ground into a double play in the next spot. Jones flew out to Martinez to close out the sweep, the most dominant statistically in ‘Sox history.
The 19 runs in game one tie a team record (previously scored twice, last in 2017), as does the 17-run margin of victory (set against Front Royal in 2018).
Across two games, Tom Sox hitters struck out only six times while walking 18 times. Their 11 walks in game one are a season high.
The two five-inning run-rule victories were Charlottesville’s first doubleheader run-rule wins.
The Tom Sox scored eight first inning runs across the two games after averaging 0.8 first inning runs per game in their first 28 games.
Alvarez and Gumpf both collected their first multi-hit games of the campaign. Wiley’s two RBI in game two earned his first multi-RBI game of the season.
Teel extended his hit streak to six games, now the second-longest hit streak on the team this season.
The Tom Sox will conclude their four-game road trip Tuesday (July 18), facing the New Market Rebels at 7:30 P.M. at Rebel Park.