Your 2019 VBL Champions – Charlottesville Tom Sox
By Tanner Wood
The Charlottesville Tom Sox defeated the Strasburg Express 4-1 to claim the Valley Baseball League Championship on Wednesday night.
The Tom Sox ended their chase for the Jim Lineweaver Trophy with an outstanding run through the postseason, which included a two-game sweep over the Strasburg Express. This is the second time in three years that the Tom Sox have won the Lineweaver Cup.
Wendesday’s series-clinching win was a banner night for a pair of Tom Sox pitchers that have been with the organization since the beginning of the summer.
Carden Mellown (Huntingdon College) started on the mound for the Tom Sox followed by an outstanding bullpen performance from Sam Crawford (Georgia Tech).
Mellown was off to shaky start but seemed to find a groove after getting out of a jam in the first inning. The Alabama native finished his night, pitching 3.2 innings yielding only one earned run and striking out two Strasburg batters.
Crawford came in in the fourth inning and shut the door on the rallying Express. He found his way and got hot as the game moved on. Crawford pitched 5.1 scoreless innings only allowing four runners to reach base.
The win capped an outstanding playoff run for the Georgia Tech product. Crawford posted a 2.51 ERA through the postseason, with three of his four earned runs coming in one game. In his final three contests with Charlottesville, Crawford struck out 14 batters and allowed just one run in 11.1 innings pitched.
The Tom Sox got off to a hot start from the plate, scoring two times in the bottom of the first inning. Paul Giacomazzi (Rhodes College) scored on a Dan Harwood (Wooster) double and Parker Nolan (Davidson) followed it up with an RBI sac fly. Nolan’s clutch play brought home Thomas Francisco (East Carolina), giving the Tom Sox a 2-0 lead over the Express.
Giacomazzi had another stellar performance at the plate, with two hits and one run.
Harwood had a productive night from the plate, with two hits and an RBI.
The Tom Sox added some insurance in the seventh inning on an RBI-single from Francisco, which brought in Cal Greenfield (Florida).
Francisco continued his summer to remember at the plate with two more hits and an RBI. The ECU product had at least one hit in 34 of 36 games played with the Tom Sox this summer.