Tom Sox Claim Regular Season Championship in Wild & Wacky Wednesday Doubleheader

The Charlottesville Tom Sox closed out the regular season on the road with a two-game set against the Purcellville Cannons, taking Game 1 and the No. 1 seed in the Valley League Playoffs before dropping Game 2.
Team Linescore
1234567R H E
Winner CHL Charlottesville 100711111 14 1
PC Purcellville 105000410 11 1
Garrett Spikes (1-1)
Mac Yarbrough (0-1)
Team Linescore
1234567R H E
CHL Charlottesville 20200127 13 0
Winner PC Purcellville 320301X9 8 3
Isaac Kopalchick (1-2)
Quinn Stromberg (0-1)


PURCELLVILLE, Va. – The Charlottesville Tom Sox (28-16) closed out the regular season on the road with a two-game set against the Purcellville Cannons (20-24), taking Game 1 and the No. 1 seed in the Valley League Playoffs before dropping Game 2.


GAME 1 – Charlottesville 11, Purcellville 10


Game 1 of the doubleheader was resumed in the middle of the first inning as it had previously been suspended midgame on July 14 due to weather conditions. Charlottesville entered the top of the first with a 1-0 advantage and two outs. 

After Henry Ford (Virginia) flew out and ended a long delayed half inning, Garrett Spikes (Georgia) took the mound for the ‘Sox. Spikes surrendered an RBI single as the score knotted up at 1-1. Charlottesville and Purcellville traded scoreless half innings and the stalemate held until the bottom of the third, in which the Cannons exploded for five runs and took a 6-1 lead.

Spikes weathered the storm on the mound, and his team rallied behind him. The ‘Sox returned to the dugout and responded with seven runs of their own. Spikes helped himself out getting the scoring started with a two-RBI double. Charlottesville’s formidable 1-2 duo of Kyle Edwards (Old Dominion) and Brice Martinez (Wofford) followed up with RBI knocks of their own. Connor Hincks (Notre Dame) and Chris Arroyo (Florida) chipped in at the plate with two more RBI singles. The ‘Sox took an 8-6 lead into the bottom of the fourth.

After a rocky inning prior, Spikes settled in, recording his first strikeout in a scoreless frame. In fact, Spikes did not allow another run for the remainder of his appearance. Meanwhile, the ‘Sox kept the pressure high, adding another run per inning for the rest of the game. Spikes scored unearned in the fifth and Hincks came around on a sacrifice fly from Kalvin Alexander (Georgia Southwestern) in the sixth to give Charlottesville a 10-6 advantage. 

Spikes completed his day on the mound after a scoreless bottom of the sixth. He bowed out with seven strikeouts, three walks, and 109 pitches thrown. Offensively, Aidan Teel (Virginia) scored on another Hincks RBI knock in the top of the seventh to bring the score to 11-6.


The Cannons continued to fight in the bottom of the seventh. New Tom Sox addition Hayden Leiderman (Chicago) entered to close out the game, but struggled, allowing a run to cross and leaving the bases loaded for Edwards who relieved him with two outs. Edwards surrendered a bases-clearing double to bring Purcellville within one before finally shutting the door and clinching the regular season title for Charlottesville.


Spikes took the victory on the mound – his second win as a pitcher in his ‘Sox career – while Hincks and Nathan Fink (Florida Southwestern) paved the way at the plate going 3-5 each.


GAME 2 – Charlottesville 7, Purcellville 9


With playoff seeding secure, Coach Lyndon Coleman opted to have some fun in Game 2 of the doubleheader. The lineup consistently evolved throughout the game as players asked for reps at unorthodox positions, leading to a chaotic regular season finale for the Valley Baseball League.


Ford came out of the gate and gave Charlottesville a 2-0 advantage with a two-run home run that was smoked down the left field line. The home run marked Ford’s third in as many days. 


Recently elevated to the active roster, Quinn Stromberg (Auburn) – typically the ‘Sox’s bullpen catcher – made the start for the ‘Sox. While the lead quickly slipped away as Purcellville scratched three back, Stromberg did record a strikeout in his only inning of work on the bump. 


Charlottesville’s bats went quiet before Ford took the mound for the second inning. Despite hitting up to 93 mph with his fastball, Ford allowed two more runs to cross as the Cannons led 5-2.


The ‘Sox responded in the top of the third, as Stromberg roped a single down the left field line to load the bases for Brady Gumpf (Notre Dame). One run came across on a wild pitch and Gumpf knocked in another as Charlottesville rallied back within one. 


Salvy Alvarez (Florida Southwestern) received the nod in the third inning, recording a clean 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout. After the ‘Sox went down quietly, Alvarez returned for another inning in which his luck would run out – loading the bases before Hincks entered to relieve him. Hincks allowed all three inherited runners to score, but stopped the bleeding there as the Cannons extended their lead to 8-4.


Charlottesville scuffled at the plate before Hincks returned for an outstanding three-up, three-down inning in which he tallied a strikeout. Sergio Rivera (Florida Southwestern) laced an RBI single up the middle in the top of the sixth as the ‘Sox showed life. Rivera would do himself no favors on the mound in the bottom of the sixth, loading up the bases before exiting for Fink. Fink finished off the inning with aplomb but not before an inherited runner came across on a wild pitch. 

Down to their final three outs, the ‘Sox were down 9-5. Fink and Hincks collected consecutive back-to-back singles as a final rally seemed to be in store. Spikes stepped to the plate, calling his shot in a Ruth-esque manner. After a hard fought at bat, he ripped a missile to right field which brought both runners around to score before he made a beeline for second and was tagged without sliding to end the game.


Hincks led the way on the mound with two innings, no earned runs, and a strikeout, while Fink had one inning, no earned runs, and two strikeouts. Ford’s home run was the major offensive highlight.


Despite the loss, the ‘Sox remained secure in their playoff seeding as the Valley Baseball League regular season champions. Charlottesville collected their 44th game of the season after forfeiting the July 19 game against Covington, which was unable to be rescheduled.

The playoffs begin Thursday evening (July 27) at 7 p.m. as Charlottesville hosts the Front Royal Cardinals at CHO Airport Field in game one of a best-of-three series.



  • The Tom Sox clinch the Valley Baseball League Regular Season Championship courtesy of a tiebreaker over Harrisonburg. It is their third regular season championship all-time, and second in three seasons (2021).

  • Spikes’ 109 pitches in game one are the most by a ‘Sox pitcher since A.J. Franklin threw 112 in game one of a doubleheader on July 25, 2016. They are the most pitches ever thrown by a Tom Sox reliever, and Spikes is only the third ‘Sox pitcher ever to throw 100+ pitches in relief (Daniel Johnson threw 100 pitches in 7 innings of a 16-inning game on 7/19/2015, and Shane Stossel threw 105 pitches in game two of a doubleheader to end the regular season in 2022).

  • Spikes made an appearance at catcher in the sixth inning of game two, completing the quest to play all nine positions for his Tom Sox career.

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