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Surging Tom Sox Host Lumberjacks on Tom Stock Night

The Charlottesville Tom Sox (10-3), winners of four-straight games, will face the Covington Lumberjacks (5-8) for Tom Stock Night at Charlottesville High School. The game will be broadcast on the Tom Sox Facebook Page and Tom Sox TV, with first pitch set for 7 p.m.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Charlottesville Tom Sox (10-3), winners of four-straight games, will face the Covington Lumberjacks (5-8) for Tom Stock Night at Charlottesville High School. The game will be broadcast on the Tom Sox Facebook Page and Tom Sox TV, with first pitch set for 7 p.m.

 

Coverage: Viewers can head to the Tom Sox Facebook Page or Tom Sox TV to watch tonight’s game. A link to the live stats is available on Pointstreak. The Tom Sox Twitter account (@CvilleTomSox) will provide live updates.

 

Ticket Information: Admission to all Tom Sox games is $5 per person. Season tickets are available at https://tomsox.org/tickets.

 

PROBABLE STARTERS

Covington: TBA

Charlottesville: LHP Hutson Trobaugh – Old Dominion (2 Starts, 0-1, 4 IP, 9.00 ERA, 4 BB, 9 K)

 

LEADING OFF:

  • The Tom Sox will play their second-straight game against the Generals, this time hosting them for Tom Stock night.
  • The Tom Sox defeated the Lumberjacks on Sunday, 6-4, after Nick Parham hit a 2-run single in the ninth inning.
  • The Tom Sox are on a 4-game win streak, tied for the longest in the Valley League.
  • Charlottesville is the first, and currently only, team in the Valley League with ten wins. They have ten wins in their first 13 games for only the second time in team history (2021).
  • The Tom Sox are hosting their first ever “Tom Stock” night, a night inspired by 1969’s Woodstock. In-game promotions will be Woodstock-themed, and the event will feature tie-dying, a face painter, and more.

 

AGAINST COVINGTON:

  • The Tom Sox will face the Lumberjacks for the third time this season and are 2-0 in the season series.
  • Last Tuesday, June 11, Charlottesville jumped out to a 10-0 lead through four – much thanks to a seven-run third – before the Lumberjacks came storming back with a five-run seventh. The Tom Sox were able to hold on for a 10-6 final.
  • Charlottesville won Sunday’s meeting, 6-4, thanks to a two-run ninth inning. Both teams traded four runs in the early innings before a pitching duel ensued, being broken only by Nick Parham’s single in crunch time.
  • Charlottesville has won the last nine games contested against Covington, which would be the longest win streak in series history. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the Tom Sox had to forfeit their final meeting last season, which went down as a loss in the series.
  • Only three of the nine wins have taken place in Charlottesville. Four of them were decided at Covington’s Casey Field, while the remaining two were part of a neutral site playoff series at Harrisonburg’s Veterans Memorial Park in 2022.

 

ETHAN’S EATIN’:

  • Georgia righty Ethan Sutton has had a fantastic start to the season, which culminated in a VBL Pitcher of the Week award on Monday (6/17).
  • In three appearances on the year, Sutton sports a 1.00 ERA (one ER in nine innings) and ten strikeouts to only two walks.
  • Two of his three appearances have come against the Lumberjacks, the most recent on Sunday.

 

 

GIBBY GETS IT:

  • Virginia Tech’s Ethan Gibson has been Charlottesville’s most consistent offensive force to open the season, ranking among the league leaders in a number of categories.
  • Gibson leads the league in runs scored (19) and walks (16), and ranks among the league’s best in OBP (.528, 6th), stolen bases (6, T-9th), doubles (4, T-3rd), and RBI (10, T-10th).
  • Gibson has drawn four walks in two games this season, both of which tied a team record. He is the first ‘Sox player to draw four walks in a game twice in a season. Entering this season, a player had drawn four walks only five times in team history.
  • He only needs nine more walks to crack the team’s single-season top ten.

 

TOMMY TANKS:

  • While the Tom Sox have ranked near the bottom of the league in home runs many of the past several years, they are flipping the narrative in 2024.
  • Through the league’s first 2+ weeks, Charlottesville leads the VBL with 13 home runs, four more than second-place Culpeper.
  • Auburn’s Cade Belyeu is second in the league with four long balls, while Robbie Lavey (GW) ranks close behind as one of nine VBL players with at least three.
  • Charlottesville’s 13 home runs are already as many as they had during the entire 43-game 2015 season and only two fewer than 2016.
  • 13 home runs through 13 games is by far the most in team history over that span, besting the mark of 10 set by the 2019 team. Over the last three seasons combined, Tom Sox hitters hit only 14 home runs across their first 13 games.

 

BELYEU BOMBS:

  • Auburn outfielder Cade Belyeu has had a smoking-hot start to the 2024 summer. 
  • Through his first eight games, Belyeu has ten hits – four of which are home runs, and six of which have gone for extra-bases.
  • Belyeu became the first ‘Sox player to hit two home runs in a home opener when he hit a pair of solo home runs against Culpeper. He is the first ‘Sox player with three home runs in their first two games.
  • Dating back to the end of his season at Auburn, the SEC All-Freshman selection has hit eight home runs in his last 13 games played.
  • He still ranks as the league’s slugging percentage leader despite missing the past week due to a family matter.

 

INJURY BUG:

  • The Tom Sox have unfortunately been affected by multiple major injuries to begin the 2024 season.
  • Corner infielder Gavin Miller, who hit a home run in his first plate appearance in a ‘Sox uniform and was hitting .250 through seven games, will miss the rest of the season. Miller injured his shoulder making a diving catch at third base in the extra-inning win over Culpeper.
  • Catcher Robbie Lavey, one of the VBL’s top hitters to begin the season, has missed the last week with an arm injury. He was hit in the arm by a rebounding foul ball in Harrisonburg on June 12, but is expected back soon.

 

STAFF SPOTLIGHT:

  • Charlottesville’s coaching staff in 2024 will feature a former major leaguer, a former Division I head coach, a former College World Series champion, and a current D-III assistant coach.
  • Leading the staff will be former Pittsburgh Pirate Randy Tomlin, who pitched in 106 Major League games across his five-year career.
  • Tomlin joins the ‘Sox while serving as the Head Coach of Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg. In his 12 seasons at Liberty Christian, the Bulldogs have won four state championships (two in VISAA, two in VHSL) and are currently competing for a fifth, sporting a perfect 22-0 record on the season.
  • Ten-year University of Georgia Head Coach Scott Stricklin joins the Tom Sox as Tomlin’s lead assistant. In his ten years with the Bulldogs, Stricklin coached in three NCAA Regionals, a pair of which were hosted in Athens.
  • 2015 College World Series champion Kenny Towns joins the staff as an assistant coach. Towns is Virginia’s record-holder in postseason games played and was named to a trio of All-Regional teams. This will be Towns’ first collegiate coaching experience.
  • Mary Washington Pitching Coach Adam Dofflemyer joins the Tom Sox in the same role in 2024. This season, the Eagles went 27-13 and won the opening game of their conference tournament against top-10 Salisbury before falling to Christopher Newport.
  • Finally, Coy Tomlin (Randy’s son) will support the Tom Sox from the dugout as an assistant coach all season long.

 

SEASON TO REMEMBER:

  • The Tom Sox advanced to their second-straight Valley League championship series last season, which was their fifth championship appearance in the last six seasons.
  • The Tom Sox finished the regular season with a regular season of 28-16 before going 4-4 in the playoffs.
  • They dropped game one of successive playoff series against Front Royal and Strasburg before bouncing back to win games two and three. 
  • Game two against Strasburg was among the most dramatic in ‘Sox history. Down 9-5 in the top of the ninth, the Tom Sox hit consecutive solo home runs to bring the game within two. Then, down to their final out, Kyle Edwards hit a two-run home run to tie the game at nine and send it to extra innings. The Tom Sox were then able to prevail in the tenth on RBI singles by Nathan Fink and Jacob Ference.
  • Since winning their first championship in 2017, the Tom Sox have both won and appeared in more championship games than any other VBL team.
  • Offensively, Henry Ford paced the ‘Sox with a .316 batting average, despite missing 1/3 of the season with a hand injury. He set the team’s single-season home run record with seven across his 35 games played.
  • Leading the Tom Sox on the mound was VBL Pitcher of the Year Mark Pekins, who sported a 1.12 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 40.1 innings. Mike Eggert was also impressive, pitching to a 1.20 ERA and 27 punchouts across 30 innings.
  • The Tom Sox played 52 games last season, a new team record. They scored 6+ runs in 31 of those games, and were 25-6 in said contests.
  • They also clobbered the previous stolen base record, nabbing 142 bases after previously stealing 110 in 2021.

 

TITLETOWN:

  • The Tom Sox have been the Valley’s most successful team since winning their first title in 2017.
  • The ‘Sox have appeared in all but one championship series since ‘17 (2021) and have won the league title in three of those six years.
  • Charlottesville’s 190-99 record since the start of the 2017 season is the best in the VBL.
  • Charlottesville’s six championship appearances and three titles since 2017 are both the most in the VBL over that span. They are tied with Strasburg in both titles won and championship appearances if including the entirety of Charlottesville’s nine seasons of existence.
  • The Tom Sox have won the league title in alternating seasons since their first title in 2017.

 

#MLBSOX:

  • Charlottesville sports one of the league’s most prolific MLB rosters.
  • Four former ‘Sox have appeared in an MLB game in 2024, highlighted by Vinnie Pasquantino and Wyatt Langford.
  • Pasquantino, Charlottesville’s first MLB player when he debuted in 2021, is Kansas City’s starting first baseman. He has hit six home runs on the year and carries a .713 OPS on a Royals team that currently ranks second in the AL Central.
  • Langford earned the honor of becoming Charlottesville’s first-ever first round pick when he was selected fourth overall in last summer’s MLB Draft. According to MLB.com, he was the third-fastest hitter ever to reach MLB, earning a starting role as a rookie on the Texas Rangers.
  • Additionally, two former ‘Sox pitchers have appeared in Major League games this spring – Cincinnati’s Carson Spiers and Pittsburgh’s Kyle Nicolas.

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