Tom Sox Host Braves for First Time in 2023

The Charlottesville Tom Sox (2-2) will face the Staunton Braves (1-3) for the first time this season tonight at CHO Airport Field, brought to you by Avelo Air. The game will be broadcast live on the Tom Sox Facebook Page and Tom Sox TV. First pitch is set for 7 P.M.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Charlottesville Tom Sox (2-2) will face the Staunton Braves (1-3) for the first time this season tonight at CHO Airport Field, brought to you by Avelo Air. The game will be broadcast live on the Tom Sox Facebook Page and Tom Sox TV. First pitch is set for 7 P.M.

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

Ticket Information: Admission to Tom Sox games is $5 for one person and $10 for a carload. All prices include parking.

PROBABLE STARTERS

Staunton: RHP Jacob Matheney – Bluefield State (0-0, 3.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, 4 K, 2 BB)

Charlottesville: LHP Aaron Blum – Kentucky (0-0, 1.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 BB, 0 K)

LEADING OFF

  • The Tom Sox will face off against their longtime rival, the Staunton Braves, for the first of four meetings this season.

  • Charlottesville is coming off their second win of the season, a 7-inning run-rule win over Culpeper.

  • The Tom Sox have allowed four or fewer runs in all four games this season.

  • The ‘Sox lead the VBL in ERA at 2.12 and have walked the fewest batters with only 15 on the season.

  • Charlottesville will travel on Wednesday to face their opponent in the 2022 VBL Championship, Woodstock, for a 7 PM first pitch.

SPEEDY ‘SOX

  • The Tom Sox have stolen 20 bases in their first four games, the most in franchise history.

  • The previous high was 14, set by Kory Koehler’s 2021 Tom Sox team.

  • They have not been caught stealing so far.

  • Charlottesville set a new single-game record with nine stolen bases against Covington Friday, besting the previous record of eight set in a road game at Woodstock in 2021 (also the second game of the season).

  • This season, the ‘Sox have two games with 6+ stolen bases after having only six such games in their first seven seasons of play.

  • The ‘Sox are currently on pace for 220 stolen bases on the year. The current team record is 110, set by the 2021 team.

  • Lyndon Coleman’s record in the VBL is 120, set by the 2016 Winchester Royals.

DRIVING TO VICTORY

  • Henry Ford has been on a hot streak so far to open the season, leading the team with a .462 batting average and four doubles.

  • Ford has a double in all three games he’s played, recording multiple doubles Sunday in Culpeper.

  • Ford’s four doubles in three games is the most to begin a career in team history, and tied with Brian Fortier (2016) for the most to begin a season.

  • He hit the team’s first home run of the season Friday in Covington, and leads the team with five total extra-base hits.

AGAINST STAUNTON

  • The Tom Sox and Braves will face off for the 51st time tonight, the second-most of any opponent in team history (Waynesboro, 54).

  • Charlottesville has an 8-game edge in the all-time series, 29-21.

  • The ‘Sox won last season’s series, 5-3, including winning the last two meetings.

  • At least one team has scored double-digit runs in eight of the last 11 meetings.

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, AGAIN

  • Charlottesville won their third Valley League Championship last season with a series sweep over the Woodstock River Bandits.

  • The ‘Sox did not lose a playoff game, winning all six of the games they played in a postseason plagued by rain. The Tom Sox played only one of the six games at home, with both the division semifinal and division championship rounds being played away from CHS.

  • The ‘Sox swept Covington in the first round (in a doubleheader in Harrisonburg), Waynesboro in the division championship (both games played in Waynesboro), and Woodstock in the league championship.

  • The Tom Sox trailed in only three of the 54 postseason innings played, all coming in the first game of the Waynesboro series.

  • Christian Martin led the Tom Sox at the plate in the playoffs with a .417 average and .517 OBP. The Tom Sox staff was masterful, with a 2.17 ERA and 60 strikeouts in the six games.

COLEMAN’S IN CHARGE

  • Valley League veteran Lyndon Coleman will don the head coach title for the season in Charlottesville after two seasons in Winchester.

  • Coleman’s Royals earned a VBL Playoff berth in both his seasons, advancing to the North division championship series in 2017 before falling to the Express in three games.

  • Coleman is currently Head Coach at Pasco-Hernando State College in New Port Richey, Florida, where he led the team to an NJCAA D-II World Series berth in 2019. He has coached four MLB players and 27 players who have played pro ball.

  • Coleman’s summer teams have a knack for stealing bases. The 2016 Royals led the VBL with 120, the 2017 team finished third with 86, and his 2018 Keene SwampBats team led the NECBL with 111 (5 shy of the league record).

  • Coleman will be assisted by ‘Sox alum Trevon Smith, recent Miami (OH) alum Cristian Tejada, and coaching veteran Brian Wirth.

READY TO RUN IT BACK

  • Seven players from the 2022 Championship team will return to the ‘Sox in 2023, with four on the active roster to begin the season.

  • Kyle Edwards served as the ‘Sox’s starting shortstop for much of the season, starting 42 of the team’s 48 games at short. Edwards was named an All-Star Reserve after fielding at a .971 clip and stealing 12 bases. He led the ODU Monarchs in hitting this spring with a .341 average, six homers, and a 1.038 OPS as an infielder and outfielder.

  • Braden Halladay returns to Charlottesville after a 2022 summer which saw him post a 3.86 ERA in 18.2 innings with 25 strikeouts and only 7 walks. He turned in over half his innings over his final two appearances alone, allowing one run and striking out seven in six innings at Staunton (July 20) and punching out a career-high nine batters in five innings in a playoff game at Waynesboro (July 30). Halladay worked to a 4.61 ERA in 41 innings for High Point this spring, striking out 29.

  • Kalvin Alexander only played the back half of the season for the Tom Sox last summer, but made it count. Alexander hit six home runs in 18 games, tying him for the team single-season record. He also served reliable behind the plate, catching four batters stealing on the summer. Alexander hit 10 homers for Georgia Southwestern this spring, combining with nine doubles and a triple for a .423 slugging percentage.

  • Shane Stossel only appeared in one game for Charlottesville last summer – game two of a doubleheader at Waynesboro – but made it count, tossing 5.2 scoreless innings of relief on 105 pitches to clinch the 1 seed in the South division playoffs. Stossel was named All-Conference as a pitcher and utility for Lebanon Valley this spring, posting a 3.73 ERA while hitting .331 with ten home runs and 55 RBI.

LOOKING BACK

  • Charlottesville earned the #1 seed in last season’s playoffs with a 26-16 overall record, winning a tiebreaker over the Generals courtesy of a 5-2 head-to-head record.

  • The ‘Sox finished third in the league in batting average, first in walks drawn per game, first in stolen base percentage, sixth in ERA, and third in strikeouts per nine innings. They scored five runs per game (6th in the league) and allowed runners to reach at a .222 clip (second).

  • The ‘Sox were led by a 3-headed monster at the plate in Christian Martin, Carter Cunningham, and Cole Wagner. The trio hold the fourth, third, and sixth spots respectively in the single-season record book for batting average, while occupying three of the top four spots in both slugging and on-base percentage (joined in both by Michael Wielansky, 2017 VBL MVP).

  • Wagner finished the season on a 38-game on-base streak, the longest in team history.

  • On the mound, the ‘Sox were led by a variety of starters and relievers. No Tom Sox pitcher threw more than 32 innings, with Emmett Bice pitching the most with 31.2. Notable starters included Trey Yesavage (1.73 ERA, 32 K in 26 IP), Bice (3.98, 24, 31.2), and Bobby Olsen (3.63, 15, 22.1).

  • Relievers included John Armstrong (0.00, 20, 15.2), Tyler McLoughlin (0.73, 27, 12.1), Chandler Marsh (1.86, 29, 19.1), Jackson Nove (2.64, 25, 30.2), and Drew Bryan (2.70, 34, 26.2).

SCOUTING STAUNTON

  • The Braves sit tied for ninth in the league with a 1-3 record, picking up their only win thus far against the Generals in the second game of the year.

  • Owen Prince leads Staunton in a majority of offensive categories.

  • Tonight’s starter, Jacob Matheney, is returning for his second season in Staunton. Last season, he worked to a 5.48 ERA in 21.1 innings, striking out 16 and walking 10.

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