CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- After a pair of practices at Charlottesville High School this week, the city's boys of summer will be back on Friday night.
The Charlottesville Tom Sox will open their fifth Valley League season with a trip to Harrisonburg to visit the Turks on Friday. It's the first of three straight on the road for the Sox to start the summer. They'll play their first home game next Wednesday against Covington.
"There's nothing like being on a ballfield. Especially in Charlottesville, with all the fans and support we have," Tom Sox head coach Corey Hunt said Thursday before practice. "These guys have an amazing opportunity to play baseball here in Charlottesville."
Hunt is back for a third summer in the dugout with the Tom Sox -- though he'll miss Friday's opener because of an obligation at Monticello High School, meaning former Viginia infielder Branden Cogswell will manage the team in Harrisonburg.
The Tom Sox won the franchise's first Valley League championship in Hunt's first season as head coach, two summers ago. Last year, the team got back to the VBL Finals before losing to New Market in two games.
The roster for Friday's opening day is expected to include more than a half-dozen players from ACC baseball programs, including Virginia's Cayman Richardson and Christian Hlinka, who were both practicing with the Tom Sox on Thursday. It's also expected to include pitchers Jacob Haney and Luke Burton and outfielder Keegan Woolford, who all played high school baseball at local schools.
"They come from all over the place to get these opportunities here," Hunt said. "And that's just it for the coaching staff. We try to put things together quickly, and put guys in a position to be successful and have those opportunities they came here for."