Tom Sox Move on to Southern Division Championship Series

By Maddie McNamee – @maddmcnamee

TOM SOX DEFEAT LUMBERJACKS 10-5, ADVANCE TO SOUTH DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

The Charlottesville Tom Sox defeated the Covington Lumberjacks 10-5 on Thursday night, advancing them to the South Division Championship Series for the third consecutive season. The decisive game three of the first round of the playoffs had great anticipation behind it after being rained out the past two nights. However, good things come to those who wait, and the patient fans of Charlottesville were rewarded with victory.

Ethan Sund (North Park) started for the Tom Sox in the high-stakes matchup. Joe Fortin led off the inning with a walk for the Lumberjacks, then Domenic Boselli singled to advance Fortin to third with two outs. Jeff Taylor then followed with another single, scoring Fortin. In the end, though, Sund kept the damage minimal and only gave up one run in the first inning.

The ‘Sox fought back with their own offensive action in the bottom of the first. Austin Mueller (IUP) had a lead-off single off Covington’s Cauy Williams, then Paul Giacomazzi (Rhodes) followed with a walk to put two on with no outs for Charlottesville. Thomas Francisco’s (ECU) consistently impressive hitting was next with a single to score Mueller and tie the game. Giacomazzi and Francisco were then both able to advance off a wild pitch, putting them in scoring position. Trey McDyre (Liberty) then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Giacomazzi to put the ‘Sox up 2-1.

Sund shut down the Lumberjacks in the second and third innings, going 3-up, 3-down in each. The Tom Sox fed off the heat Sund was throwing, getting their bats hot the next few innings. Alex Fedje-Johnson (Davidson) doubled to start the second, then stole third with one out to once again put Charlottesville into scoring position. Mueller got his second hit of the night with an RBI single to score Fedje-Johnson and add to the Tom Sox’s now 3-1 lead.

Brock Edge (Florida) had an impressive catch in right field to keep the Lumberjacks scoreless in the top of the fourth, then continued his intensity in the bottom of the inning; hitting a remarkably fast leadoff single. Edge then stole second with no outs, then Fedje-Johnson walked to put runners on first and second. Edge then stole third to give the Tom Sox runners on the corners with still no outs, then scored off a wild pitch. Mueller then hit another RBI single to score Fedje-Johnson and make the score 5-1. That was all for Covington’s Williams, who pitched 3.1 innings on the night. The Lumberjacks put Carson Werrmann in to finish off the inning.

Sund went back out for the fifth inning and only gave up one more run. Exavier Santiago hit a leadoff double off of Sund, then Pedro Nazario hit a single with 2 outs to score Santiago and make the score 5-2.

The Tom Sox kept their bats hot in the bottom of the fifth, as Christian Hlinka (Virginia) hit a single to start the inning, then Cayman Richardson (Virginia) mirrored the action with a pinch-hit single, advancing Hlinka to third. Brock Edge continued his 2-way success with an RBI single to score Hlinka, then Fedje-Johnson added to the offensive action and hit a single. James Ingram (Johns Hopkins) followed with a double to give the ‘Sox some comforting insurance runs and put the game at 7-2.

Maddison Furman (VCU) came in to pitch the sixth for the Tom Sox and gave up no runs in the frame. The ‘Sox added to their lead again in the bottom after a leadoff double from Giacomazzi.  He was then able to steal third then score off of an RBI sac fly by McDyre, making the score 8-2.

Tom Sox pitching and hitting continued to bring the heat, as Furman went scoreless again and the ‘Sox added to their lead in the seventh. Richardson started the inning with a single, then advanced on a wild pitch. James Ingram then hit his first Tom Sox home run to give the ‘Sox an impressive 10-2 lead. Ingram’s home run additionally tied the Charlottesville record for home runs in a season at 26 (set in 2017).

Furman went back out for the 8th inning, giving up one run – his only run allowed through three innings on the night. Kyle Kingsbury (Lebanon Valley) came out for the ninth and closed the game for the Tom Sox, allowing two unimpactful runs to make it 10-5.

The exciting win advances the Tom Sox to the next round of the playoffs. Weather permitting, the Tom Sox are back at home Friday (8/2) against the Staunton Braves for game one of the South Division Championship series. First pitch is planned for 7 p.m.