Tom Sox Defeat River Bandits 6-2 to Win Third Valley League Championship

After a long season full of ups and downs and lots of rain, the Charlottesville Tom Sox knocked off the Woodstock River Bandits 6-2 to win their third Valley Baseball League Championship in the last five seasons.

by

David Argo & Daniel Kattwinkel
Team Linescore
123456789R H E
#1 WRB Woodstock 0000002002 5 0
Winner #1 CHL Charlottesville 01112001X6 7 1
W:
Christian Howe (1-1)
L:
Kelan Hoover (5-2)
S:
Tyler McLoughlin (5)

SHARE

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – After a long season full of ups and downs and lots of rain, the Charlottesville Tom Sox (32-16) knocked off the Woodstock River Bandits (31-17) 6-2 to win their third Valley Baseball League Championship in the last five seasons. The Tom Sox have collected three championships in their first seven years of existence, tied for the most in the Valley League in that short of a span this century.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Christian Howe (Kentucky) started the game for the ‘Sox and was lights out throughout the night. In a season-high six innings in only his second start, Howe allowed no runs, five hits, no walks, and struck out seven of the 24 batters he faced on the night.

  • Charlottesville started the scoring in the second inning. Facing North Division Pitcher of the Year Kelan Hoover, Christian Martin (Virginia Tech) walked with the bases loaded to bring in the first run of the game.

  • The ‘Sox continued their momentum in the third as Garrett Spikes (Georgia) hit a no-doubt home run – complete with a bat flip – to take a 2-0 lead.

  • In the fourth, Brody Moss (Auburn) was able to score on a Carter Cunningham (East Carolina) groundout for the ‘Sox’s third run of the game.

  • Charlottesville added two more in the fifth, their fourth-straight inning with a run. Martin drove in his second and third runs of the game with a double to center that scored Kalvin Alexander (Florida Southwestern) and Logan Amiss (VCU).

  • The River Bandits responded in the top of the seventh with two runs of their own. Facing reliever Wyatt Lunsford-Shenkman (East Carolina), Hunter Smith and Jalen Buster both walked with the bases loaded to make it a 3-run game. Lunsford-Shenkman was unable to make it out of the inning, walking five in ⅔ of an inning before giving way to Tyler McLoughlin (Emory).

  • The Tom Sox scored their sixth and final run of the game in the eighth. Cunningham walked to get on base and scored on a Trey Yunger (Wofford) groundout to make it 6-2.

  • McLoughlin was able to lock it down in the eighth and ninth, striking out six of the nine total batters he faced – including a rare 4-strikeout inning in the eighth. He set down the side in the order to put the game away and secure Charlottesville their third Jim Lineweaver Cup in five seasons.

 

Tom Sox Head Coach Ramon Garza won his second Valley League Championship with the Tom Sox after winning the 2019 championship as a player. He became the first person since modern records began (1994) to win a Valley League Championship as both a player and a head coach.

 

FROM HEAD COACH RAMON GARZA (via John Leonard): “I’m so proud of this group of guys and how resilient they are, working every day to get better. They learned a lot this summer, and we get to represent the city of Charlottesville and win a championship.”

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • Cole Wagner (Georgia) reached base twice on hit by pitches. He became the first player in Tom Sox history to play 20+ games (he played 38) and reach base in all of them.

  • Brody Moss closed his season on a 20-game on-base streak, tied for the seventh-longest streak in ‘Sox history (Bryce Windham, 2017).

  • Charlottesville swept all three rounds of the playoffs for the first time in team history. They have won all three of their championships at home.

Related Stories

Tom Sox Season Ends With 9-5 Loss to Turks in VBL Championship

After 64 days, the marathon 2023 season came to an end as the Charlottesville Tom Sox (32-20) fell to the Harrisonburg Turks (34-16) in game two of the Valley Baseball League championship series.

Tom Sox 2-Hit by Turks in Game One of VBL Championship

The Charlottesville Tom Sox offense fell flat in game one of the 2023 Valley Baseball League Championship, mustering up only two hits as they fell to the Harrisonburg Turks 7-2 on Thursday.

Tom Sox Face Turks for 2023 Valley Baseball League Championship

The 1-seed Charlottesville Tom Sox (32-18) will face the 2-seed Harrisonburg Turks (32-16) in a best-of-three series for the Valley Baseball League Championship beginning Thursday. Games one and three (if necessary) will be played at CHO Airport Field at 7 p.m., while game two will take place at Harrisonburg’s Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park beginning at 7:30 p.m.