CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Charlottesville Tom Sox (0-2) will face the Covington Lumberjacks (1-0) in a rematch of last night’s game, but this time at Casey Field. It will be broadcast live on the Lumberjacks Facebook page. First pitch is set for 7 P.M.
Coverage: Viewers can head to the Lumberjacks Facebook Page to watch tonight’s game. A link to the live stats is available on Pointstreak. The Tom Sox Twitter account (@CvilleTomSoxVBL) will provide live updates.
Ticket Information: Admission to all Lumberjacks game is free.
Covington: RHP Aaron Potter (St. Johns River State)
Charlottesville: RHP Tyler Horvat (Washington & Jefferson)
LEADING OFF: The Tom Sox fell to the Lumberjacks yesterday, 9-2, after a disastrous 9th inning inflated the score. The game was set at 3-2 entering the inning, but walks, errors, and wild pitches helped the Lumberjacks score six runs and tie for their largest margin of victory ever against Charlottesville. Kyle Edwards became the first player this season to record a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 from the 9-hole. Tom Vincent dazzled on the mound, allowing one unearned run and five K’s in his four innings of work. The game gave the ‘Sox their first 0-2 start since 2015 and first home opener loss since 2016. Charlottesville’s 15 strikeouts at the plate were the second-most in team history, while their six wild pitches set a new record. It was the first time in team history that the ‘Sox scored multiple runs but failed to record an RBI.
SERIES vs COVINGTON: The Tom Sox and Lumberjacks will meet for the 42nd time today. Last night, Covington snapped Charlottesville’s 6-game win streak in the series. The last time the two teams met at Casey Field, the ‘Sox smoked Covington behind a record-setting performance from Adam Cecere, who collected 11 total bases (two home runs, a double, and a single) in an 11-4 win. Charlottesville has scored double-digit runs in two of the last four against the Lumberjacks, with both of those games in Covington.
NEW COACHING STAFF: The Tom Sox will have a brand new coaching staff in place to begin the 2022 season – but not all of those coaches are necessarily new to Charlottesville. Head Coach Ramon Garza previously played on the Tom Sox’s 2019 Championship team, finishing with a .289 batting average, 27 runs scored, and a team-leading six stolen bases. He was heralded as one of the team’s leaders throughout the season, even giving the postgame speech after the championship game. Garza’s 43 games played in 2019 ranks 5th in team history, and his 152 at-bats are tied for 7th. He also ranks 9th in runs and hits. This summer will be Ramon’s first career coaching job.
Assistant Coach Nick Balley, also beginning his coaching career this summer, played the last two seasons alongside Ramon at the University of Texas at Dallas. Pitching Coach Zach Woolard begins his first career coaching job this summer after a 4-year pitching career at North Carolina Wesleyan. Assistant Coach Zach Bennett comes to Charlottesville after coaching three years at the high school level, one year at the JUCO level (in which he appeared in the JUCO World Series), and one year in NCAA Division III.
LOOKING BACK: The ‘Sox had an outstanding regular season in 2021 before ultimately falling in the first round of the playoffs to Waynesboro. Head Coach Kory Koehler led the team to a 30-10 regular season, becoming only the third VBL team since 1994 to post a win percentage of .750 or higher, and their ten losses were tied for the fewest of any team over that span. The ‘Sox set a record on the basepaths, stealing 110 bases – 44 more than the next-best season. Wyatt Langford – a 2022 First Team All-SEC selection for Florida – led the team with a .336 batting average, .972 OPS, and 60 total bases. Despite joining the team in late June, Wake Forest’s Adam Cecere led the team with four home runs. And a 2022 returner, Garrett Spikes, led the team with 24 RBI. Pierce Bennett, Cole Foster, Trevor Candelaria, and fellow returner Logan Amiss all made strong contributions for the offense.
On the mound, another 2022 returner paced the ‘Sox for much of the season. Virginia Tech’s Brady Kirtner posted a 3.18 ERA to lead the team and he finished second in both strikeouts (37) and innings (28.1). The man he finished second to in both was San Jacinto’s Dillon Janac, who threw 31.1 innings and struck out 38. Noah Overton, Chase Centala, and 2022 AAC Pitcher of the Year Carter Spivey were also among those who made valuable contributions from the mound.
AWARD WINNERS: A number of 2021 ‘Sox players won notable awards at their schools this summer. The list was headlined by Florida’s Wyatt Langford, who jumped from having just three at bats his freshman year to making First Team All-SEC with a league-leading 21 home runs. A similar jump was recorded by Virginia Tech’s Jack Hurley, who was named First Team All-ACC after hitting .383. East Carolina’s Carter Spivey, who had a 2.40 ERA for the ‘Sox in 2021, was named the AAC Pitcher of the Year after leading the league in ERA (2.59) with five saves and a 1.15 WHIP. Davidson’s Trevor Candelaria was tabbed as First Team All-Atlantic 10 after batting .350 with 19 doubles, a 1.074 OPS, and 62 RBI (all ranked in the top 10 of the conference).