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Tom Sox and Turks Face Off in First of Two Matchups

The Charlottesville Tom Sox (17-5) will face the Harrisonburg Turks (12-8) at Veterans Memorial Park in the first of two consecutive matchups on Monday. The game will be broadcast on the Turks YouTube Page, with Tom Sox audio-only coverage available on Tom Sox TV. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Charlottesville Tom Sox (17-5) will face the Harrisonburg Turks (12-8) at Veterans Memorial Park in the first of two consecutive matchups on Monday. The game will be broadcast on the Turks YouTube Page, with Tom Sox audio-only coverage available on Tom Sox TV. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.

 

Coverage: Viewers can head to the Turks YouTube Page 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: Ticket information for all Turks games is available at harrisonburgturks.com.

 

PROBABLE STARTERS

Harrisonburg: TBA

Charlottesville: RHP Thomas Whelan – Davidson

 

LEADING OFF:

  • The Tom Sox, leaders of the VBL South Division by four games, travel to Harrisonburg for the first of two consecutive games Monday.
  • Tonight’s game kicks off a 4-game road stretch.
  • The Tom Sox will face the same opponent at the same ballpark on back-to-back days for the first time since facing Waynesboro in the VBL South finals at Kate Collins Field in 2022. The first game of that series was set to be played in Charlottesville but was moved due to weather. This will be only the third occurence in team history, and first with both games being regular season meetings.
  • The Tom Sox finished June with a league-best 17-4 record.
  • The ‘Sox lead the league in ERA (3.21) by almost a full run and rank third in batting average.
  • Davidson’s Thomas Whelan will make his second start of the summer.

 

AGAINST HARRISONBURG:

  • The Tom Sox and Turks will face off for the fourth time this season, and second at Veterans Memorial Park. The Turks lead the season series 2-1.
  • Charlottesville is 9-17 all-time against the Turks at Veterans Memorial Park.
  • Prior to last week’s win (June 21), Charlottesville had dropped 5 straight to the Turks, including a pair of games in the VBL Championship last August. It was Harrisonburg’s longest win streak in the series since it began in 2015.
  • Seven of the last nine meetings in the series have been decided by four or more runs.
  • The Turks are the only opponent with a winning record against Charlottesville this season. All-time, they are the only opponent with an all-time series record closer than 6 games.

 

LAST TIME OUT:

  • Prior to the weekend all-star break, the Tom Sox and Generals had quite the battle on Friday; culminating in a 3-2 Tom Sox win. 
  • After trailing for the entire contest, Robbie Lavey provided the theatrics as Charlottesville walked it off in the bottom of the ninth.
  • The home run marked Charlottesville’s second walk-off on the year and their first walk-off home run since July 2022 in a doubleheader against the Turks.
  • Both teams combined for only eight hits on the night.
  • The game featured quite the predicament on the mound, as two Charlottesville pitchers – Tommy Roldan and Ethan Sutton – suffered injuries during their outings.
  • Chase Stryker was able to settle the game down on the mound, tossing 4.2 innings without allowing an earned run. He struck out a career-high seven batters.

 

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK:

  • The summer baseball comings and goings have taken effect over the last couple weeks for Charlottesville, with a number of players arriving over the last week.
  • Many of those players are coming off of World Series appearances in their respective divisions, including Blake Brookins and Frank Menendez (Florida) alongside Dean Kampschror (Virginia) in Omaha.
  • Caden Ferraro and Ryan Hanks both arrive from the Blinn Buccaneers, who took home their first NJCAA DI World Series Championship in May.
  • Cooper Blauser – son of former Braves World Series champion Jeff Blauser – made his team debut in Friday’s win. Blauser is transferring from Clemson to Jacksonville State.

 

SETTING RECORDS:

  • The Tom Sox set a new record in June 26’s game at Covington with their 16th win on the year.
  • The win marked the most in the team’s first 20 games in program history.
  • Previously, the 2017 had set the record with a 15-5 20-game record, followed by 2021 at 14-6. The 2017 team won the VBL Championship, while the ‘21 squad set a VBL regular season win percentage record.

 

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 month, Charlottesville sits tied for second in the VBL with 18 home runs, one behind first-place Culpeper.
  • Auburn’s Cade Belyeu and George Washington’s Robbie Lavey both pace the team with five long balls, one behind Staunton’s AJ Wenrich for the league lead.
  • Charlottesville’s 18 home runs are already more than the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons (13 and 15, respectively) and only one behind the 2021 team, who hit 19. ‘Sox hitters have hit 32 home runs in each of the last two seasons.

 

ALL-STARS AND PROSPECTS, OH MY!

  • Tom Sox represented a solid core of the rosters for both the VBL’s NACSB Prospect Games roster, who competed Monday, and the South division All-Star roster, which faced the North in yesterday’s game.
  • Included on the prospect games roster were pitchers Daniel Powell, Ethan Sutton, and Ryan Grzesiakalongside position players Cade Belyeu (who could not compete due to an injury) and Colby Wallace. The VBL fell 12-10 to the NYCBL.
  • The All-Star roster included position players Johnnie Lopez, Robbie Lavey, and Ethan Gibson alongside pitchers Daniel Powell and Ayden Alexander. Alexander took the spot of Marco Levari, who was unable to participate after hitting his innings limit.
  • Head Coach Randy Tomlin served as the manager for both squads, courtesy of Charlottesville having the South’s best record through the respective selection dates.

 

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.

Related Stories

Tom Sox Extend Division Lead with Road Win over Turks

Ryan Wynn set a Tom Sox record with two triples as the Charlottesville Tom Sox (21-9) defeated the Harrisonburg Turks (18-10) by a 9-3 score at Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday. Wynn drove in four of Charlottesville’s nine runs as they extended their South division lead back to two games. 

Tom Sox/Cavaliers Game Postponed

Tonight’s scheduled game between the Charlottesville Tom Sox and Culpeper Cavaliers has been postponed due to inclement weather. A make-up game will take place on Monday, July 22 at 7 p.m. in Culpeper.

Tom Sox Toppled by Turks in Extras

After a grueling pitchers' duel, the Harrisonburg Turks (18-9) bested the Charlottesville Tom Sox (20-9) in extra innings at Charlottesville High School on Thursday evening. The visitors posted two runs in the top of the tenth to break the tie and take a 3-1 victory on 'Virginia Athletics Night' at the ballpark. 

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