Tom Sox and Turks Face Off in Championship Rematch Tuesday

The Charlottesville Tom Sox (2-1) will face the Harrisonburg Turks (0-3) in a rematch of the 2023 championship series at Charlottesville High School. It will be broadcast live on the Turks Facebook page and YouTube channel. First pitch is set for 7:30 P.M.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Charlottesville Tom Sox (2-1) will face the Harrisonburg Turks (0-3) in a rematch of the 2023 championship series at Veterans Memorial Park in Harrisonburg. It will be broadcast live on the Turks Facebook page and YouTube channel. First pitch is set for 7:30 P.M.

 

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

 

Ticket Information: Turks tickets are available at the entrance gate and are $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens or college students with valid ID. Kids ages 12 and under can receive free admission with a paying adult.

 

PROBABLE STARTERS

Harrisonburg: TBA

Charlottesville: LHP Hutson Trobaugh (Old Dominion)

 

LEADING OFF:

  • The Tom Sox travel to Harrisonburg for a 2023 championship rematch against the Turks.
  • Last year’s championship appearance against the Turks was Charlottesville’s second consecutive appearance in the Valley League championship series and their fifth in the last six seasons.
  • The Tom Sox have won two straight games after dropping the season opener to Staunton. They have outscored their opponents 26-4 across the pair of games.
  • Charlottesville has hit five home runs across their first three games, a team record and 33% of the league’s total entering Tuesday’s games.
  • The Tom Sox did not strike out in Sunday’s game against Waynesboro, the first time with no strikeouts since July 31, 2017.
  • Head Coach Randy Tomlin will not coach tonight, as he is coaching Liberty Christian Academy in the VHSL State Tournament. Scott Stricklin will assume head coaching duties and the result will be credited to Tomlin.

 

BELYEU BOMBS:

  • Auburn outfielder Cade Belyeu has had a smoking-hot start to the 2024 summer. 
  • Through three games, Belyeu has three hits, two walks, and two sacrifice flies. All three of his hits are home runs.
  • Belyeu became the first ‘Sox player to hit two home runs in a home opener when he hit a pair of solo home runs in Saturday’s game 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 seven home runs in his last eight games played.

 

HIT GAME ON LOCK:

  • A number of Tom Sox players have put up impressive offensive starts to the year.
  • George Washington’s Robbie Lavey, who was named a Second Team All-Atlantic 10 eslection, leads the squad early with a .600 average (9-for-15) and six RBI, which trails only Belyeu (7). He hit his first home run in Sunday’s game.
  • Seminole State’s Johnnie Lopez has been similarly impressive with a .538 average (7-for-13), four RBI, five runs, and a home run.
  • Auburn catcher Cale Stricklin is 4-for-9 with four walks and four RBI, including a three-run double on Sunday.
  • Virginia Tech’s Ethan Gibson has reached base in eight of his 13 at-bats on the year with three hits (two doubles) and five walks.

 

AGAINST THE ‘BURG:

  • The Tom Sox are 27-25 all-time against the Turks but have lost three-straight, thanks to a 0-2 sweep in last year’s championship series.
  • Despite sharing a division from 2015-22, the Tom Sox and Turks had never met in the postseason prior to last season’s meeting.
  • Charlottesville’s championship roster only featured 15 active players last season. The Tom Sox had to play the final game of the season with normal outfielder Garrett Spikes at shortstop (he threw 117 pitches in a start the previous night), catcher Salvy Alvarez at second base, and pitcher Luke Calveric at first. They faced a Turks team which featured a majority of its starting lineup from the regular season.
  • Harrisonburg’s three-game win streak against Charlottesville is their longest since 2016-17. A win Tuesday will give them their longest win streak against the ‘Sox since 2015, Charlottesville’s inaugural season.

 

ON THE TURKS:

  • Harrisonburg may be experiencing a bit of a championship hangover in Bob Wease’s 21st season at the helm, beginning the season 0-3.
  • Harrisonburg has been outscored by an average of four runs across their first three games.
  • Returner Matthew Delgado leads the Turks offense early, going 3-for-7 with a double and pair of RBI.
  • The Turks have not hit a home run so far this season.

 

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.

 

NEW IN ‘24:

  • Beginning this season, the Valley League will play a modified 40-game schedule, as opposed to the 44-game schedule played last season.
  • All 40 regular season games will be played against divisional opponents for the first time, eliminating inter-division play and significant travel for teams. 
  • Following the regular season, the top three teams from each division will be seeded 1-3. The 2 and 3-seeds will face off in a single wild-card game, which will determine who will face the one seed in the division championship.
  • Both the best-of-3 division championship and VBL Championship series will take place as in prior years, with the North and South division champions facing off for the Jim Lineweaver Trophy.
  • For the first time, the Valley League’s All-Star festivities will take place across two days. Purcellville will host VBL All-Star Weekend on June 29 and 30 which will feature the traditional home run derby & game, plus a high school home run derby, live music, and other exciting events.

 

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.

Related Stories

‘Sox Slug in Sizzling Heat for 11-5 Win over Staunton

The Charlottesville Tom Sox (14-4) blazed through Saturday’s summer heat on the road against the Staunton Braves (10-9) after a fast start from the offense. Capitalizing on multiple errors, stolen bases, and a major home run by Johnnie Lopez (Seminole State), the ‘Sox earned an 11-5 win to maintain their stranglehold on the VBL South Division.

Postgame Report: June 22 at Staunton

Photo Album: Tom Sox vs Turks (by Emmy Franklin)

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