On a night when storms were threatening to the west, the storm that is the Charlottesville Tom Sox blew into Linco Park at Kate Collins Field with a chance to sweep the Waynesboro Generals and head to the finals.
The Generals struck first in the opening frame off Tom Sox starter Rick Spiers, when Malik Stephens flew around from first base on a throwing error by Tom Sox third baseman Jack Barry. The Tom Sox answered right back in the next frame off Waynesboro starter Daniel Tolano, when Barry led off with a single, stole second, and came home on a Kyle Battle single to right field.
The Tom Sox took the lead in the 5th on one big blow- a Cole Migliorini home run to right center field. It was even more impressive because of the field; Linco Park at Kate Collins Field suppresses home runs rather significantly (stay tuned after the season for ATVL’s Park Factors article).
Charlottesville touched Waynesboro reliever Patrick OShea for a run in the top of the 6th, when Vinnie Pasquantino singled, stole second, and scored on Battle’s third single on the day.
Down 3-1, the Generals struck back for a run with 2 outs, when James Cosentino singled, went to second on a Joseph Bellini single, and came home on yet another single, this one by Patrick Cromwell. Spiers struck out Dakota Robbins to end the threat.
The Generals had a one-out runner in the 8th, but a nifty pickoff move by Charlottesville reliever Bobby Hearn erased that issue.
The Waynesboro faithful stomped the bleachers and chanted for the home team in the 9th, but Hearn worked around a one-out hit-by-pitch and closed out the game with a sharp curveball to strike out Jason Bush, sending the Tom Sox to the finals for the first time in team history.
The defensive play of the game was turned in by Waynesboro’s left fielder, Reid Long, who laid out to steal a hit from Ari Sechopoulos in the top of the 8th inning.
The Tom Sox will now have at least two days off while they wait for the winner from the Northern Division. Game one of the finals will be in Charlottesville either on Friday or Saturday this week.