SALEM, Va. – Local high school baseball seniors are once again getting an opportunity to play one final game with “The Last Inning”. What started during the COVID-19 pandemic, has turned into an annual tradition to send these hard working recent graduates off in style.
This year, the two teams played a doubleheader at Salem Memorial Ballpark--hosted by the Salem Red Sox and the Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame. The Navy team was represented by players from Staunton River, William Byrd, Liberty, Cave Spring, James River and Hidden Valley High Schools. The Red team was made up of players from Patrick Henry, Northside, Jefferson Forest, North Cross, Glenvar, Alleghany, Christiansburg, Lord Botetourt, Auburn and Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy.
Following the first game, winners were announced for the Posey Oyler Scholarship, Kelvin Bowles Scholarship and the Ray Bellamy Award.
Damien Boyd of Auburn High School received the Posey Oyler scholarship. He’ll be playing baseball in Fredericksburg with PRO5.
Preston Crowl of Franklin County High School received the Kelvin Bowles scholarship. Crowl will play baseball for Virginia Tech.
Trae Ludy of Cave Spring won the Ray Bellamy Award. The VHSL Class 3 State player of the year led the Knights to the state semifinals. He held a 10-0 pitching record with 88 strikeouts in 61 innings. Ludy held an ERA of just 1.37 while at the plate he averaged .559 with 10 doubles, 6 home runs and 40 RBI.
The doubleheader of action on Saturday was just the start of a big baseball weekend in Salem.
On Sunday, the Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame will officially induct its newest members at Salem Civic Center. The 2023 Class includes Roy Clark, Nick Jones, Randy Lawrence, Reggie Poff and Matt Trent. Gary Oyler will receive the Wayne LaPierre Sr. Community Service Award.