CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Charlottesville Tom Sox (0-2) will face the Staunton Braves (1-1) in their second home game of the season at Charlottesville High School. It 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 (@CvilleTomSoxVBL) will provide live updates.
Ticket Information: Admission to all Tom Sox games in 2022 is free, courtesy of Carter Bank & Trust. Parking is available at a first-come, first-served basis in the CHS upper, lower, and student lots.
Staunton: RHP Will Lynch (Samford)
Charlottesville: LHP Tayler Montiel (Mississippi State, 0-1, 1.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1 BB, 1 K)
LEADING OFF: The Tom Sox lost their third straight to open the season yesterday, falling 3-0 to the Lumberjacks at Casey Field. Two of the three Covington runs came off of solo shots against starter Tyler Horvat. The Tom Sox did not walk a Lumberjack, the first time in a 9-inning game that they did not walk a batter since July 2019. On the offensive end, Charlottesville was led by Kyle Edwards and Satchell Norman, who each collected two hits. Julian Rojas and Charles Crawford each added doubles, but neither could be brought in.
The Tom Sox have started 0-3 for the first time since 2015. They have left 7+ runners on base in each of the first three games, and are 1-for-20 (.050) with runners in scoring position on the season. Tom Sox batters have struck out 10+ times in every game, the first time in team history that ‘Sox batters have struck out double-digit times in each of the first three games.
AGAINST STAUNTON: The Tom Sox and Braves played a wild set of games last season, with the Tom Sox winning the first four, the Braves winning the next three, and the ‘Sox coming back to win the final matchup. The final two games of the season (both in Staunton) were marked by high scores, with Staunton winning a wild, back-and-forth 14-13 game on July 9 before the ‘Sox came back and run-ruled the Braves 15-1 on the 15th. In that game, the Tom Sox hit three home runs in the fifth inning – only the second time in team history that Charlottesville batters hit three long balls in a single inning. All-time, the Tom Sox lead 24-19 in 43 all-time meetings and are 15-7 in Charlottesville.
NEW COACHING STAFF: The Tom Sox will have a brand new coaching staff in place to begin the 2022 season – but not all of those coaches are necessarily new to Charlottesville. Head Coach Ramon Garza previously played on the Tom Sox’s 2019 Championship team, finishing with a .289 batting average, 27 runs scored, and a team-leading six stolen bases. He was heralded as one of the team’s leaders throughout the season, even giving the postgame speech after the championship game. Garza’s 43 games played in 2019 ranks 5th in team history, and his 152 at-bats are tied for 7th. He also ranks 9th in runs and hits. This summer will be Ramon’s first career coaching job.
Assistant Coach Nick Balley, also beginning his coaching career this summer, played the last two seasons alongside Ramon at the University of Texas at Dallas. Pitching Coach Zach Woolard begins his first career coaching job this summer after a 4-year pitching career at North Carolina Wesleyan. Assistant Coach Zach Bennett comes to Charlottesville after coaching three years at the high school level, one year at the JUCO level (in which he appeared in the JUCO World Series), and one year in NCAA Division III.
LOOKING BACK: The ‘Sox had an outstanding regular season in 2021 before ultimately falling in the first round of the playoffs to Waynesboro. Head Coach Kory Koehler led the team to a 30-10 regular season, becoming only the third VBL team since 1994 to post a win percentage of .750 or higher, and their ten losses were tied for the fewest of any team over that span. The ‘Sox set a record on the basepaths, stealing 110 bases – 44 more than the next-best season. Wyatt Langford – a 2022 First Team All-SEC selection for Florida – led the team with a .336 batting average, .972 OPS, and 60 total bases. Despite joining the team in late June, Wake Forest’s Adam Cecere led the team with four home runs. And a 2022 returner, Garrett Spikes, led the team with 24 RBI. Pierce Bennett, Cole Foster, Trevor Candelaria, and fellow returner Logan Amiss all made strong contributions for the offense.
On the mound, another 2022 returner paced the ‘Sox for much of the season. Virginia Tech’s Brady Kirtner posted a 3.18 ERA to lead the team and he finished second in both strikeouts (37) and innings (28.1). The man he finished second to in both was San Jacinto’s Dillon Janac, who threw 31.1 innings and struck out 38. Noah Overton, Chase Centala, and 2022 AAC Pitcher of the Year Carter Spivey were also among those who made valuable contributions from the mound.