CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – On Monday afternoon, the Charlottesville Tom Sox won both games in a make-up doubleheader against the Front Royal Cardinals. The ‘Sox won game one by a score of 7-2 and game two by a score of 7-1. Consistent batting from the ‘Sox, as well as dominant performances from the pitching staff, smothered any chance for the Cardinals.
In game one, Brady Kirtner (Virginia Tech) started on the mound for the Tom Sox. In his tenth appearance this summer, Kirtner had a shaky start, giving up a single to Trent Jeffcoat and an RBI double from Kasey Caras. Charlottesville answered right back in the bottom of the first with a Pierce Bennett (Wake Forest) RBI double and an Adam Cecere (Wake Forest) RBI single. Timothy Mira scored on a sacrifice fly by Jack Krause to tie the game at 2 after one and a half frames, but the ‘Sox were in full control for the next 5 innings.
Charlottesville loaded the bases in the bottom of the second, and Victor Castillo (FAU) cleared them with a double to right field. Logan Amiss (VCU) hit next for Charlottesville, driving Castillo home. A sacrifice fly from Garrett Spikes (Georgia) scored Amiss, and all of a sudden, the ‘Sox opened up a five-run lead entering the third. In Kirtner’s final inning, he struck out two to limit any further damage.
Justin Humenay (VCU) came in at the start of the fourth to make his Charlottesville debut, and he did not disappoint. In two innings, he struck out three Front Royal batters, but a cold streak for the ‘Sox offense kept the score at 7-2. Jacob Haney (William & Mary) came on in relief for the final two frames. He gave up two hits to the Cardinals but allowed no runs as the ‘Sox finished with a 7-2 win.
Dillon Janac (Rice) took the bump for the Sox in game two. In his two innings, he gave up just one hit and no runs. The Tom Sox offense got off to a hot start in their half with a Pierce Bennett double. A wild pitch from Front Royal’s Jack Cossa gave the ‘Sox a 1-0 lead. A solo shot from Cecere then doubled the Charlottesville lead.
A leadoff double from Cole Foster (Auburn) put a runner in scoring position with no outs in the second, and the Tom Sox capitalized. After some aggressive baserunning, Foster scored from third on a fielder’s choice. Will Safford (LSU) hit a two-out single, and, after a stolen base and Cardinal error, scored on another single from Bennett.
Stephen Restuccio (Northwest Florida State) came on for Janac in the third. Wade Cuda immediately knocked a single to right field, and Jack Krause followed Cuda with a hit of his own, putting two Cardinals on base with no outs. Cuda advanced to third on a fielder’s choice, but an error by Restuccio made the score 4-1. RJ Ochoa (UTRGV) reached first on a fielder’s choice, and then advanced to second on a Front Royal error. Cooper Ingle (Clemson) returned to action by pinch running for Ochoa, and, after making his way to third, scored the ‘Sox’s fifth run on a deep Will Safford sac fly.
Coming on with a 5-1 lead, James Vaughn (Duke) dominated for Charlottesville, allowing only one run in two frames. He had some help from his offense in the bottom of the fifth, as well. Brayland Skinner (Mississippi State) advanced to first on an error from the first baseman, and he put his speed on display by maneuvering his way out of a pickle for a stolen base. Cecere was hit by the next Cardinals pitch, and a double from Wyatt Langford (Florida) scored both runners. Finally, Preston Allen (Coastal Bend) closed the game for the Sox with a 1-2-3 seventh, clinching a 7-1 victory.
Charlottesville will be back in action Tuesday evening against Harrisonburg at Crutchfield Park. Admission all season is free thanks to Carter Bank & Trust.
Charlottesville clinched the top seed in the VBL courtesy of their two wins and Strasburg’s loss.
The Tom Sox swept their fourth-straight doubleheader. They went 4-0-2 in doubleheaders on the year after splitting the first two.
Wyatt Langford extended his on-base streak to 14 games after going 2-for-5 on the day.
Pierce Bennett finished his day 4-for-6 with 2 runs, 2 RBI, and a HBP.
Victor Castillo has collected a hit in each of his three games in Charlottesville.
The Tom Sox have hit a home run in 3-straight games.
Over the last 10 games, Charlottesville is batting .331 with 97 runs, 21 doubles, 9 home runs, 14 stolen bases, and a .962 OPS. They have outscored their opponents by 56 runs over that span and have struck out only 11 times more than they have walked.