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‘Sox Drop Marathon Game in Staunton

On a humid evening at John Moxie Memorial Stadium, the Charlottesville Tom Sox (20-8) dropped a slugfest against the Staunton Braves (12-14) by a score of 11-10 in 11 innings. Despite multiple rallies throughout the contest, the ‘Sox fell just short in a four-and-a-half-hour affair – the longest contest by time in team history (4:35).

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Team Linescore
1234567891011R H E
CHL Charlottesville 1003001400110 11 0
Winner SB Staunton 0000116100211 12 5
W:
Dale Boone (1-0)
L:
Caden Ferraro (0-1)

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STAUNTON, Va. — On a humid evening at John Moxie Memorial Stadium, the Charlottesville Tom Sox (20-8) dropped a slugfest against the Staunton Braves (12-14) by a score of 11-10 in 11 innings. Despite multiple rallies throughout the contest, the ‘Sox fell just short in a four-and-a-half-hour affair – the longest contest by time in team history (4:35).

 

The game started off with early momentum for Charlottesville, as just like in most games, they struck first. With two outs and a full count in the top of the first, Jake Books (Coastal Carolina) smashed a solo shot into the trees behind the center field fence for an early 1-0 lead.

 

On the mound to start for the Tom Sox was Bobby Olsen (Villanova commit) who was looking to keep his solid campaign going, coming into Sunday’s game with a 2.57 ERA and a 3-0 record in seven innings pitched.

 

In his first inning of work, Olsen recorded a strikeout of the lead-off hitter before allowing a hit to the two hitter. But Olsen got out of the frame, inducing a 5-4-3 double play.

 

For the Braves, pitcher Trey Jackson turned things around in his second inning of work, getting two ground balls and a line out, all to his shortstop, Jake D’altrui. 

 

The Tom Sox defense flashed some leather in the bottom of the inning as Sam Mummau (Florida) made a diving stop up the middle before throwing from his knees over to Caden Ferraro (Blinn College) to save a hit.

 

The defense showed up again to help get Olsen out of the bottom of the third, turning a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning after two Braves reached via walks. 

 

Charlottesville’s offense rose again in the upper half of the fourth. After a one-out walk by Robbie Lavey (George Washington), Cooper Blauser (Jacksonville State) unloaded a two-run blast into the Staunton night to put the ‘Sox up 3-0. Cale Stricklin (Auburn) kept the scoring alive by drawing a two-out walk and would come around to score on a Mummau double to center.

 

Olsen returned to the mound in the bottom of the fourth looking to stay sharp after three scoreless frames. He got lead-off hitter L.T. Cockrill swinging for his third strikeout of the evening, and later induced his third double play of the night. Olsen’s night was done after four scoreless innings pitched with three strikeouts, three walks allowed, and three hits. He was relieved by Thomas Whelan (Davidson).

 

After retiring the first two hitters in the fifth, the Braves’ offense got to Whelan by drawing back-to-back walks and smacking an RBI double to narrow the score to 4-1. 

 

The Staunton offensive kept showing life in the bottom of the sixth. After Whelan got Cockrill to strike out, A.J. Wenrich hit a solo home run to center, cutting the score to 4-2. 

 

Charlottesville went to their bullpen after the Braves’ home run, bringing in Colby Wallace (East Carolina) who ended any extra threat in the frame.

 

The Tom Sox were able to tack on some insurance in the top of the seventh. Ryan Wynn (Wofford) reached base after getting hit by a pitch and Ferraro walked. With two outs, Lavey lined an RBI opposite-field single to plate Wynn and increase the lead back to 5-2. 

 

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Randy Tomlin made another pitching change, going to the Falls Church, Virginia, native Dean Kampschror (Virginia). But with two runners on, Cockrill smacked an RBI double for the Braves to score Cameron Cole from second and make it a 5-3 ballgame.

 

Tomlin again had to go to his bullpen, turning to Ryan Grzesiak (Florida Southwestern) to preserve the lead. Grzesiak came into a jam and walked two batters in a row, allowing a run to cross to make it 5-4.

 

The next batter for Staunton, Ike Schmidly, ripped a two-out, bases-clearing double to put the Braves up 7-5 and force a third ‘Sox pitching change of the inning, this time in favor of Frank Menendez (Florida). Menendez’s first batter, Cole, welcomed him to the game with an RBI double to put Staunton up 8-5.

Suddenly in need of some late inning magic, Nick Parham (East Carolina) started the top of the eighth on the right foot for C’Ville, reaching first on an error by the third baseman. Stricklin followed with a single before Dean Mihos (Coastal Carolina) hit a one-out single to center to bring in Parham and cut the deficit to 8-6.

 

With two outs and the bases loaded later in the frame, Ferraro drilled a bases-clearing shot to center field that dropped out of the center fielder’s glove and brought in Stricklin, Mihos, and Wynn as Charlottesville retook the lead, 9-8.

 

Staunton, however, would not go away quietly as Wyatt Campbell led off the bottom of the eighth by launching a deep drive over the left field wall, tying the game 9-9. Despite putting two runners in scoring position, Menendez was able to send the game to the ninth without allowing any additional damage.

 

While Parham gave the ‘Sox hope in the top half of the ninth with a two-out double, Nate Ward got Stricklin to strike out to end the inning.

 

With one out and a runner on second in the bottom of the ninth, Tomlin turned to Ferraro for his first pitching appearance of the season. He delivered, tossing back-to-back strikeouts to send the game to extras.

 

After both teams failed to score in the 10th, the Tom Sox buzzed in the top of the 11th, loading the bases with Blauser coming up with one out. The Jacksonville State product hit a deep sac fly to center, scoring Wynn from third to give Charlottesville a 10-9 lead.

 

But the tides turned quickly in the bottom of the 11th. After the Braves loaded the bases, Bradley Gardner walked to tie the game up at 10, and the next batter, Tim Dickinson, lined a single up the middle, winning the game for Staunton 11-10.

 

On a lengthy evening in Staunton that featured a notably tight zone from behind the plate, the ‘Sox dropped a heartbreaker to fall to 20-8 on the season.

UP NEXT:

The Charlottesville Tom Sox are back at home Tuesday for Educator Appreciation Night the Covington Lumberjacks. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • Sunday’s game was only the fourth game in team history to cross the four-hour mark, and first since the 2019 season. The ninth inning ended at exactly the four-hour mark, the longest nine innings in team history.
  • Charlottesville pitching walked a team-record 14 batters.
  • The 21 combined walks in the contest mark the most since the 2022 regular season finale in Waynesboro, where both squads also combined for 21.
  • Blauser and Books both hit their first long balls of the season. 
  • Charlottesville drops to 1-2 in extra inning contests on the season, with both losses coming in the last seven days (a 10-inning, 7-6 loss to Covington last Wednesday).

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