Covington, VA – The Charlottesville Tom Sox moved to 3-0 on the season against the Covington Lumberjacks with a 10-4 win on the road Saturday night. Lately, walks have been the Tom Sox’ worst enemy, but tonight, they were the team’s best friend, with Covington walking 13 Tom Sox batters, while Charlottesville walked just four. The Lumberjacks also hit four batters throughout the night.
The Lumberjacks outhit the Sox, 11-5, but were unable to secure the win because of a plethora of unforced mistakes. The Tom Sox jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning; however, they did so without registering a hit in the inning. Covington’s Avery Heiple walked Trevor Candelaria (Davidson) and Cal Stark (Weatherford) and then hit Wyatt Langford (Florida) to load the bases for the Sox.
The Lumberjacks responded in the second with a run of their own after the first four batters reached base (three hits and a walk). A diving snag by Will Safford saved the Tom Sox defensively and helped hold Covington to just one run.
After getting a single and stealing second, Paxton Tomaini came home for the Lumberjacks following an error by Safford to tie up the game 2-2.
Preston Allen (Coastal Bend) came in to replace starting pitching Alex Ayala (Florida Southwestern) in the top of the fifth. Ayala finished the evening with four innings pitched, allowing seven hits and giving up two runs, while registering six strikeouts.
Logan Amiss (VCU) would score on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth to give the Tom Sox the lead again 3-2.
Allen’s night would come to an end in the fifth after just 1.1 innings pitched. He gave up two runs, two hits and two walks and faced just eight batters. Will Morrison (Auburn) would come on to replace Allen.
The Sox poured on three more runs in the sixth to extend their lead to four. Dyal continued to bring in runs notching another sacrifice fly for an RBI. Cole Foster (Auburn) scored on a wild pitch from Cole Fryman, and Safford came in on a passed ball.
The Lumberjacks would not be deterred, with Covington battled back and added two runs in the sixth off a single from Nathan Becker. Despite these runs, the Lumberjacks continued to be their own worst enemy, with a wild throw over to first by pitcher Gant Starling allowing the Tom Sox to score another run in the eighth.
Stark kept the scoring going with a single to right to bring home Pierce Bennett (Wake Forest), as the Sox pushed their lead to four.
Carter Spivey (ECU) also made his debut for Charlottesville, as he came on to pitch in the eighth in relief for Morrison. Spivey went 1.2 innings with four strikeouts and just one hit allowed. Bennett brought in a run in the ninth, led by Brett Lindsay, as the Tom Sox pushed their scoring to double digits with a 10-4 lead.
Garrett Spikes (Georgia) came on for the last out of the game and retired Tomaini to close out the game.
With this win, the Tom Sox moved to 9-3, while the Lumberjacks fall to 4-6. The Tom Sox have won five of their last six matchups against the Lumberjacks. This is just the second time in program history that the Tom Sox have won their first three matchups against Covington in a season (other time was 2017 when the Sox went 6-0 on the year).
The Tom Sox return home tomorrow, June 20th, to take on the Winchester Royals in a double header starting at 4 p.m. This is the only time the Tom Sox will see Winchester this season. Admission for fans to all Tom Sox’ games this season is free thanks to Carter Bank and Trust.