Salem Red Sox Rock the Playoffs
While some boys between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two embark on a trip to pursue their college education, others find their passion geared in another direction. Not so far from the Roanoke College campus lays Lewis Gale Field, home of the Salem Red Sox, where a group of these fine boys have chosen to excel in the world of professional baseball. What makes the Salem Red Sox so special is that they are one of the four teams left competing for the Carolina League title.
A summer of many grueling, heated games has given the Salem Red Sox the chance to prove their worth in more ways than simply moving up through the system to a Double-A team. Most have never been on a team in the playoffs, but changing that reality was certainly their goal. Now, they’ve accomplished it, and their rivals: Potomac, Lynchburg, and Myrtle Beach, are all that stand in Salem’s way of the coveted Mills Cup.
The playoffs began Wednesday, September 5 at 7:05 PM. A brisk evening set the tense mood as the stands were packed in more than they had ever been all summer. Beer, hot dogs, peanuts, and bubble gum wafted through the air and spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains encircled the stadium. Local camera crews hoped to capture the excitement of the first game but were left waiting like everyone else. After nine, drawn-out innings of small ball had come to pass, not even the best of either team’s players had managed to make it to Home Plate; the game was scoreless.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, jackets were emerging along with the Salem Red Sox’s determination. Matty Johnson was stationed at 2nd base with another man on first and Cody Koback up at bat. A single dramatically changed the fate of the game when the opposing team’s third baseman committed an error, dropping the ball, and gave Johnson just enough of a chance to score. The Salem Red Sox were one step closer, winning 1-0.
It can be said that the two teams are evenly matched and more steps are still to come before anything is certain, but the Salem Red Sox are not going to give up without a fight. To get in on the action, free admission is available during the playoffs, and Roanoke College students can receive their tickets from the Info Desk at the Colket Center. In the end, the difficulty in supporting our fellow generation in their trials is less than zero, especially if said support involves simply enjoying a game of baseball.