Tom Sox to Face Cardinals in First Round of 2023 Playoffs

The Charlottesville Tom Sox (28-16) will face the Front Royal Cardinals (21-23) in the first round of the Valley Baseball League Playoffs. Games one and three (if necessary) will be played Thursday and Saturday at CHO Airport Field, while game two will be played Friday at Bing Crosby Stadium. First pitch for all three games is set for 7 p.m.

SHARE

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Charlottesville Tom Sox (28-16) will face the Front Royal Cardinals (21-23) in the first round of the Valley Baseball League Playoffs. Games one and three (if necessary) will be played Thursday and Saturday at CHO Airport Field, while game two will be played Friday at Bing Crosby Stadium. First pitch for all three games is set for 7 p.m.

 

Coverage: Games one and three will be available to watch on the Tom Sox Facebook Page and Tom Sox TV. Game two will be available on the Royal Examiner’s YouTube page. The Tom Sox Twitter account (@CvilleTomSox) will provide live updates.

 

Games 1 & 3 Ticket Information: Admission to Tom Sox games is $5 for one person or $10 for a full carload. All prices include parking.

 

Game 2 Ticket Information: Admission to Cardinals games is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors (60+) and youth (ages 6-12).

 

PROBABLE STARTERS

 

Game 1 – July 27, 7 p.m. at CHO Airport Field

Front Royal: RHP Carter Stanford – Tallahassee CC (5 GS, 1-1, 27.0 IP, 3.00 ERA, 16 BB, 31 K)

Charlottesville: RHP Jeremy Goins – Tampa (1 GS, 0-1, 12.1 IP, 3.65 ERA, 12 BB, 11 K)

 

Games 2 & 3

Front Royal: TBA

Charlottesville: TBA

 

LEADING OFF:

  • The Tom Sox and Cardinals will face off in a best-of-3 first round series. 

  • The winner of this series will face either Strasburg or Woodstock in the semifinals.

  • Charlottesville is the Valley League Regular Season Champions, courtesy of a tiebreaker over Harrisonburg.

  • Charlottesville and Front Royal will meet in the postseason for the first time.

  • Jeremy Goins will get the start for the Tom Sox in game one. He has allowed only one run in his last five appearances.

  • Charlottesville finished the regular season second in the league in ERA, first in strikeouts per nine, and second in walks per nine.

  • Charlottesville’s 186 wins since 2017 are the most in the Valley League.

 

POSTSEASON FACTS:

  • The Tom Sox are the reigning Valley League champions after sweeping last season’s postseason.

  • Charlottesville has won three of the last five Valley League championships.

  • The ‘Sox have advanced to the finals in four of their previous five playoff appearances.

  • Charlottesville is 21-8 all-time in the playoffs, and 8-4 all-time in the first round.

  • Since 2013, teams to win game one of their playoff series win the series 81% of the time (50-for-62).

 

REGULAR SEASON RECAP:

  • The Tom Sox finished the regular season 28-16 and won the Valley League Regular Season Championship for the second time in three seasons.

  • Charlottesville won five of their last eight games (not including a win in a suspended game over Purcellville) to close the regular season. They finished the regular season playing on seven consecutive days and have had only two off days since July 14.

  • The Tom Sox played 26 of their 44 games in July, including four doubleheaders.

  • Charlottesville’s 30 regular season wins are their third-most all-time. 

  • The Tom Sox won their 300th all-time game on June 18 at Culpeper.

  • The ‘Sox won eight straight games from June 29 to July 8, the second-longest win streak in team history.

  • Charlottesville lost consecutive games only four times, while stringing together at least three wins on five occasions. 

  • The ‘Sox had 13 games either postponed or canceled on the season, including a record five day stretch from June 19-23 in which a game was postponed every day.

 

PLAYER NOTES:

  • Connor Hincks is riding a 14-game on-base streak, the Tom Sox’s longest this season. Brice Martinez is second with an active 13-game on base streak.

  • Henry Ford has hit three home runs over the last three days. Over the last five games, he is 8-for-15 (.533) with six runs, six RBI, three walks, and a 1.811 OPS.

  • Brice Martinez is hitting .340 in home games this season, 120 points higher than the next-best qualified player (Hincks, .220).

  • Over the last ten games, Nathan Fink is 12-for-30 (.400) with six runs, three RBI, a pair of doubles, and a triple.

  • Mark Perkins’ 0.58 ERA in 31 innings is currently the lowest in Tom Sox history. It would lead the VBL if he qualified for the league leaderboard. His 40 strikeouts are tied for the tenth-most in a single season.

 

AGAINST FRONT ROYAL:

  • The Tom Sox have a 17-5 all-time advantage against the Cardinals, tied for their largest advantage all-time against one opponent (Staunton).

  • Charlottesville has won nine of the last ten games against Front Royal, the lone loss coming in the series opener this season.

  • All four games this season, and the last six in the series, have been decided by three or fewer runs.

  • One of Charlottesville’s two largest wins came against Front Royal, a 17-0 win in a 2018 doubleheader.

  • The Cardinals have never won consecutive games against the Tom Sox.

 

MR. TOM SOX:

  • Garrett Spikes cemented himself as the ultimate “Mr. Tom Sox” (a figurative award given to the active player who has played the most games) on Monday, surpassing Jack Morris (2016 & 18) for the most games played in Tom Sox history.

      SEASONS GAMES
    1. Garrett Spikes 2021-23 85
    2. Jack Morris 2016,18 81
    3. Kyle Edwards 2022-23 80
    4. Brian Fortier 2015-16 66
    5. Logan Amiss 2021-22 56
  • Spikes is only the second player to play three seasons with the Tom Sox, joining Charlottesville local Jake Allen (2015-17).

  • On Wednesday, Spikes hit two doubles to surpass Michael Wielansky for the career doubles record and three RBI to pass Dom D’Alessandro on the all-time RBI list.

      SEASONS RBI
    1. Garrett Spikes 2021-23 51
    2. Dom D’Alessandro 2018 48
    3. Michael Wielansky 2017 40
    4. Cole Wagner 2022 37
        Vinnie Pasquantino 2017 37
  • He is only six runs away from setting the runs scored record, although it is held by current teammate Kyle Edwards (56). He is also 19 at-bats back of Edwards’ current record, and eight starts behind Edwards for the all-time starts lead.

  • He sits tied with two others for second all-time in home runs, currently held by Kalvin Alexander (9).

 

POWER HITTERS:

  • After hitting 12 home runs over their first 31 games, the Tom Sox have hit 11 over their last 11 games.

  • Henry Ford leads the team over that span with his three homers, all of which have come this week.

  • Jacob Ference homered on the first pitch he saw last Friday at New Market and hit his second home run two days later, at Winchester.

  • Aidan Teel has homered twice, one in a blowout, run-rule game at Staunton and again on Tuesday at Front Royal to start the scoring.

  • Edwards, Alexander, David Wiley, Chris Arroyo, and Brady Gumpf all have one home run over the last 11 games.

  • The 2023 ‘Sox must hit eight home runs during the playoffs to tie the all-time record (32), set by last season’s team.

 

THE SPEEDY ‘SOX:

  • The 2023 Tom Sox have stolen 129 bases, the most in team history. 

  • The 2023 team has stolen six or more bases six times this season. They had done so six times total over their previous seven seasons (322 games).

  • Kyle Edwards owns the all-time stolen base record with 36 across two seasons (36-for-40). Sergio Rivera is second with 25, while Brice Martinez has the #3 spot with 22.

 

STRONG-ARM STAFF:

  • The Tom Sox are second in the Valley League with a 4.18 ERA and lead the league in strikeouts per nine. They are second, just by a hair, in walks per nine and strikeout to walk ratio.

  • Mark Perkins leads the team with a 0.58 ERA in 31 innings, which would be the lowest in Tom Sox history if the season ended today.

  • Mike Eggert is second with a 0.86 ERA in 21 innings, with 19 strikeouts. He is followed by Ryan Lynch who also spots a sub-3 ERA, at 2.01. 

  • Charlottesville’s .216 opponent batting average would be a team record if the season ended today, as would the 10.35 K/9.

 

2022 PLAYOFF RECAP:

  • The Tom Sox won their third Valley League Championship in 2022 by clean sweeping the field, going 6-0 with wins over Covington, Waynesboro, and Woodstock.

  • The 2022 playoffs were anything but usual. The Tom Sox’s first round game against Covington was postponed twice due to weather and was eventually scheduled as a doubleheader at Harrisonburg’s Veterans Memorial Park, which uses turf. The ‘Sox swept the doubleheader with 13-2 and 6-2 wins.

  • Charlottesville then had to play both of the division championship games in Waynesboro due to field conditions at Charlottesville High School. They won the first game (played as a home game) 5-4 and then dominated game two 13-4.

  • The final matchup was against Woodstock, who the Tom Sox managed with ease; winning the championship with 7-1 and 6-2 wins.

  • Charlottesville’s leader in the postseason was Christian Martin, who went 10-for-24 with eight RBI, five walks, and a 1.142 OPS. Cole Wagner, who set the team’s all-time on-base streak record at 39, went 9-for-25 with four doubles and a .934 OPS, and Carter Cunningham went 7-for-24 with four doubles, a home run, nine RBI, and five walks.

  • All but one of Charlottesville’s regular starters (Kyle Edwards) hit over .275.

  • On the mound, only one pitcher who threw four or more innings finished with an ERA over 2. Four pitchers threw four or more innings without allowing a run.

 

SCOUTING THE CARDINALS:

  • The Cardinals are the 8-seed and last team into the field, benefitting from a pair of late Purcellville losses and a win in their final game to make the playoffs.

  • The Cardinals are making their second-straight playoff appearance after missing out on the 2019 and 2021 playoffs. 

  • The ‘Cards were swept in last year’s first round by the River Bandits. They have not advanced past round one since 2016, when they lost to Strasburg in the semifinal.

  • The Cardinals have won one championship, in 1986.

  • Front Royal ranks tenth in the league in batting average and sixth in ERA. They walk the second-fewest times in the league and strike out the third-most.

  • The Cardinals have a pair of players hitting over .300, Blaze OSaben (.328) and Broedy Poppell (.305).

  • Three Cardinal pitchers, including tonight’s starter Carter Stanford, have thrown at least 20 innings with an ERA under four. 

Related Stories

Tom Sox Face Turks for 2023 Valley Baseball League Championship

The 1-seed Charlottesville Tom Sox (32-18) will face the 2-seed Harrisonburg Turks (32-16) in a best-of-three series for the Valley Baseball League Championship beginning Thursday. Games one and three (if necessary) will be played at CHO Airport Field at 7 p.m., while game two will take place at Harrisonburg’s Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Tom Sox Set to Face Express in Playoff Semifinals

The 1-seed Charlottesville Tom Sox will face the 4-seed Strasburg Express in a best-of-3 semifinal series. The winner of this series will face either 2-seed Harrisonburg or 3-seed Winchester in the VBL Finals. Games one and three (if necessary) will be played at CHO Airport Field, while game two will take place at First Bank Park in Strasburg. First pitch for all games is set for 7 p.m.

Tom Sox Host Lumberjacks on Bark in the Park Night

The Charlottesville Tom Sox (22-11) will face the Covington Lumberjacks (18-17) on Bark in the Park Night at CHO Airport Field. It will be broadcast live on the Tom Sox Facebook page and Tom Sox TV. First pitch is set for 7 P.M.