Salem Memorial Ballpark was the site of the annual “The Last Inning” baseball doubleheader last Saturday. The games featured graduated seniors from Roanoke Valley high schools split into four teams.
The games, sponsored by the Salem Red Sox and the Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame, were initiated in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the spring high school baseball season. The games gave the seniors a chance to get on the field one last time, and it was so popular it was decided to make it an annual affair.
The first game was a rout, as the Green team beat the Red team 15-1. Several of the more accomplished pitchers for the Red team were not able to play and that accounted for the lop-sided score. The Green team consisted of players from Salem, Northside, North Cross and Auburn while the Red was comprised of Lord Botetourt, Franklin County, Alleghany and Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy.
Owen Prince and Shane Oiler played for the Red team and LB coach Todd Smith was a coach. Nate Prince was on the bench but couldn’t play due to a broken wrist.
Owen was on base three times with a single and two walks in three times at the plate. He also stole two bases. Oiler was 0-for-two and had a walk.
Prince also suited up for the Gray team in the second game when a couple Cave Spring boys did not show and the team was short on players. The Navy Blue team, with players from Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Glenvar, defeated the Gray team 5-2. The Gray was stocked with Jefferson Forest, William Byrd, Hidden Valley, Eastern Montgomery and Cave Spring.