CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Charlottesville Tom Sox took the field Sunday night in Waynesboro for a must-win Game 2 in the South Division Semifinal. After a valiant effort, the ‘Sox fell 6-3 to the Generals, ending their season. Waynesboro advances to play Staunton in the division championship after a 2-0 series win.
Brady Kirtner (Virginia Tech) started for the ‘Sox, but, after a scoreless inning and a half, he walked Alex Arauz with two outs. Jackson Ross stepped into the box and hit a long double just out of the reach of Garrett Spikes (Georgia) in right field. Arauz touched home but Ross was thrown out after trying to reach third.
Waynesboro ace Deven Judy had retired his first eight batters, but he walked Brayland Skinner (Mississippi State) and gave up a hit to Pierce Bennett (Wake Forest) in the third. Logan Amiss (VCU) batted in both Charlottesville players with a single to right.
Their 2-1 lead did not last long. Kirtner loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the third, and a Will Prater single scored Max Weller. Gehrig Ebel (Virginia Tech) tagged Stephen Wilmer out at home, and some poor baserunning from the Generals resulted in a double play, halting the home side’s momentum. After three frames, the game was knotted at 2 apiece.
A pitching duel ensued for the next three innings. Kirtner kept Waynesboro at bay until he was replaced with two outs in the fifth by Angelo Cabral (North Central Texas). For the Generals, Judy gave up two hits after his hiccup in the third. Elijah McCormack came on with two outs in the sixth, but the ‘Sox had runners on second and third. His first batter, Spikes, flew out to center to end the inning.
In the seventh, McCormack walked Charlottesville’s Zach Limas (Incarnate Word) to begin the inning. Cole Foster (Auburn) laid down a bunt to move Limas, but McCormack overthrew Waynesboro’s first baseman Alejandro Figueredo. Limas scored, but Foster was thrown out while sprinting to third.
Charlottesville’s 3-2 lead did not last long. Cabral had not given up a run so far in 1.1 innings, but Waynesboro caught fire after the seventh inning stretch. The Generals put two on base with no outs, then Jackson Ross drilled a 3-run home run over the left field fence. On the very next pitch, Weller hit a solo shot to give the Generals a 6-3 lead.
McCormack continued his dominance by not allowing a single Charlottesville hit in the eighth or ninth. Victor Castillo (FAU) struck out swinging to end the summer for the Tom Sox.
Charlottesville finished the year with a 30-12 record. They clinched first place in the South Division and also recorded the Valley Baseball League’s best regular season record.
Multiple Tom Sox players had outstanding individual performances this summer. Castillo, Adam Cecere (Wake Forest), Wyatt Langford (Florida), and Christian Worley (Virginia Tech) were all named to All-VBL teams. Head Coach Kory Koehler was named Maynard “Mo” Weber Manager of the Year.
Thanks to all of our sponsors for your support this season, especially our friends at Carter Bank & Trust and Crutchfield. Most importantly, thank you to our loyal fans for providing a phenomenal atmosphere for our players all season. Your attendance and donations are what provide such a fantastic summer baseball atmosphere for our players. We’ll see you next summer for more Charlottesville Tom Sox baseball!
The series loss marks Charlottesville’s first all-time playoff series loss in a round other than the championship.
Six of Charlottesville’s 12 total losses on the season came to Waynesboro.
The Tom Sox scored five runs over their final three games against Waynesboro.