Tom Sox Stun Cannons with 5-Run Comeback in 9th to Win Seventh Straight

Sergio Rivera capped off a five-run ninth inning with a walk-off fielder’s choice to lift the Charlottesville Tom Sox to a 5-4 win over the Purcellville Cannons.
Team Linescore
123456789R H E
PC Purcellville 0000011114 6 1
Winner CHL Charlottesville 0000000055 6 1
W:
Caleb Ketchie (1-0)
L:
Andrew Washington (0-1)

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Fans at CHO Airport Field were witness to some middle-of-July high-drama baseball on Thursday night when Sergio Rivera (Florida Southwestern) capped off a five-run ninth inning with a walk-off fielder’s choice to lift the Charlottesville Tom Sox (16-7) to a 5-4 win over the Purcellville Cannons (10-14). The win marked the ‘Sox seventh straight and their sixth straight home victory.

 

The Tom Sox were able to get their final eight batters of the game to reach, and turn what was originally a pitcher’s duel into a thrilling finish. Aidan Teel (Virginia) led the ‘Sox offensively with a 3-for-3 day, including two doubles and a pair of walks. Zach Root (East Carolina) ran into some trouble but was able to work out of it, holding the Cannons scoreless through the first four innings. Free passes were the name of the game and the ultimate deciding factor in the game – the Tom Sox issued seven (six walks and a hit-by-pitch), while Purcellville walked nine and hit another four batters.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Although the contest had an action-packed finish, it started as a pitcher’s duel. Getting the start for Charlottesville was  Root and for Purcellville was Noah Ingle. 

  • The Tom Sox threatened early in the second by loading the bases in the second, but David Wiley (Wofford) and Kyle Edwards (Old Dominion) struck out and bounced into a double play, respectively. 

  • For the second straight inning, Charlottesville nearly tacked on the game’s first tally when Teel doubled to center, but Derek Williams (Florida Southwestern) was gunned down at the plate. 

  • Purcellville loaded the bases in the fourth, but Root pulled his best Houdini act and stranded all three runners to keep the game knotted at zero. The fourth proved to be his last inning as head coach Lyndon Coleman went to his bullpen in the fifth. Root finished the contest by allowing two hits while fanning three hitters. 

  • In the fifth inning, the ‘Sox once again loaded the bases, but they couldn’t bring home any runs as Henry Ford (Virginia) popped up to end the inning. 

  • Coleman brought in Zach Mack (San Jacinto) for his Tom Sox debut in the top of the fifth, and he ran into some trouble in the sixth. Catcher Jose Torres broke the scoreless tie as he lined a single into right field, which scored Ryne Guida. The Cannons couldn’t tack on any more runs as Coleman went to his bullpen and called upon Jordan Little (ECU).

  • Purcellville added an insurance run in the seventh when Guida notched an RBI groundout to Edwards at short. To begin the eighth, Chayce Bryant absolutely unloaded on a fastball from Little, crushing it deep over the left field wall, making it a 3-0 lead. 

  • Charlottesville’s bats went silent in the late stages of the contest, and the Cannons brought in another run on a wild pitch in the ninth. Despite trailing by four, Coleman’s squad was determined not to go down quietly in the ninth. 

  • The Tom Sox led off the inning with Nathan Fink (Ole Miss) lacing a double into right field and Kalvin Alexander (Georgia Southwestern) drawing a walk. The shutout was broken after Brice Martinez (Wofford) drew a bases-loaded walk to make the score 4-1. They continued to claw their way back in the contest as Williams grounded a ball up the middle that was botched by the shortstop. Edwards and Alexander came around to score on the error. Coleman went to his bench and called upon Hollis Porter (Mississippi State) to pinch-hit for Ford. Porter was drilled by a pitch to load the bases for Rivera. With the bags juiced, Rivera grounded a ball to the second baseman, Caleb Stewart, who came home on the play, but Torres could not make the play in time and Williams scored the game-winning run. 

 

The ‘Sox will be back in action on Friday for a doubleheader against Woodstock, with the first game starting at 4:00 p.m. 

 

Additional Notes

  • The walk-off victory is Charlottesville’s first of the season and first since Gavin Abrams hit a 3-run walk-off home run in the ninth against Harrisonburg last season to bring home a 10-7 win on July 21.

  • Charlottesville’s five runs in the ninth inning are their most in the ninth since scoring five on July 1, 2021 in an eventual loss at Waynesboro.

  • Teel is the second ‘Sox player to reach base in five plate appearances this season, joining Hollis Porter on June 7 against Woodstock.

  • In two games against the Cannons, the Tom Sox have walked 19 times and been hit by seven pitches.

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