Controversial homer lifts Salem to Game 1 playoff win

salem red soxSalem catcher Jake Romanski’s controversial two-run blast in the top of the 10th inning gave the Salem Red Sox a 3-1 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the first game of the Southern Division Championship Series. Numerous Pelicans vehemently argued that Romanski’s low, line-drive blast was foul, and three of them, including Manager Joe Mikulik, were ejected following extensive shouting at the four-man umpiring crew. But third-base umpire Rich Grassa emphatically ruled it fair upon initial look, and the Red Sox prevailed to move within one more win of a return trip to the Mills Cup Finals.

Looking at the video after the game, it was truly impossible to tell whether the ball was fair or foul. It just narrowly cleared the fence, and it either snuck inside the foul pole by inches or sailed outside it by a similarly small measure. But it will go down in history as a game-winning two-run homer for Romanski, who helped three Red Sox pitchers hold the Pelicans to just four hits in the 10 inning contest.

The hoopla in the 10th inning overshadowed a brilliantly pitched baseball game, with Salem starter Jacob Dahlstrand slightly outdueling Myrtle Beach righty Sam Wolff, who was also fantastic. Dahlstrand set down 20 of the 22 batters he faced over seven scoreless innings, in which he struck out eight and did not walk anybody. After he yielded back-to-back singles to begin the second inning, Dahlstrand did not allow another baserunner, retiring 17 straight Pelicans to conclude his outing. It was a masterpiece.

Salem scratched a run off Wolff in the first inning, when Carlos Asuaje singled home Matty Johnson to give the Sox an early 1-0 edge. But Wolff locked in after that, permitting only one hit over his final five frames on the hill.

The Sox held their one-run lead into the last of the eighth, with Madison Younginer replacing Dahlstrand on the mound. With two outs and the bases empty, Lewis Brinson launched a missile over the left-center field fence to tie the score at one. Younginer proceeded to walk the next two batters, but Kyle Martin took over and stranded both runners aboard.

The Pelicans put the winning run at second base in the bottom of the ninth against Martin, but the Salem reliever escaped unscathed again, setting the table for the bizarre and unruly top of the 10th.

Mario Martinez led off the frame with a single, and Dreily Guerrero pinch-ran for him. With the runner at first, Romanski clocked the low deep drive down the left field line, and it is unlikely anyone will ever agree about where exactly it landed. After the home run, it took more than 10 minutes before the next pitch was thrown, with all the arguing, ejections, and quite simply, digesting what had just happened.

Martin earned the win for the Red Sox with two and a third scoreless innings in relief, retiring the side in order in the last of the 10th to preserve the 3-1 lead.

The Sox can complete a sweep in the short best-of-three series with a win on Thursday night. Salem will send Pat Light to the mound opposite Pelicans lefty Luis Parra, with the first pitch slated for 7:05.



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.