The Roanoke Rails will open their season on May 25th with a doubleheader against the Carolina Pirates. Although the opening twin bill will be played at James River High School, most of the Rails season will be played at historic Kiwanis Field in Salem, Virginia.
Under first year coach Jeremy Sink, the Rails posted their best season in their history in 2013, dashing through the Carolina-Virginia Collegiate Summer League’s post season tournament before falling to the league champion Kernersville Bulldogs in the final game.
Only nine players return from the 2013 season, headed by Pitcher Steven Ball (Blacksburg HS/George Mason) last season’s team MVP. Lord Botetourt High School hurlers Zack Kelly (Concord University) and Michael Mnich (Alderson & Broaduss) will return to the mound for the Rails, as will slugging infielders DJ Russ (Emory & Henry) and Will Kaufman (Cal u of Pa). Lynchburg College’s Lincoln Evans (Lord Botetourt HS) is coming off an amazing college season and will be patrolling the outfield for the Rails again this year. Injured early last season, Easton Riggs (Ferrum College) returns to the mound for the Rails this season.
Among the local familiar faces beginning their first year for the Rails are a quartet of Hidden Valley stars Nic Ratliff (Bluefield College), Chad Frazier (Francis Marion), Austin Gregory and Harrison Richards, both from Roanoke College. Staunton River high school teammates include second year Rail Nic Love (PHCC), Paul Williams (Concord University), and second sacker Pat Love (PHCC). From Salem High and Southern Virginia the Rails grabbed Hunter Allen, Zach McNally, and SVU recruit Alec Brown (Patrick Henry HS). Two Hampden-Sydney Tigers, catcher Ryan Peevey (Franklin County HS) and infielder Joey Sutphin (Radford HS)will also be making their Rails debut.
Pioneer District Player of the Year Keith Yancey (James River HS/Bluefield College),Cave Spring star Griffin Stanley (Eastern Mennonite), and speedy Austin Lowman (Randolph-Macon) will bring power and speed to the Rails lineup. Imported from the Bedford area comes four members of the Central Virginia Blue Sox who recently closed the doors on their operation. Bringing a wealth of riches to the Rails are, Christian Sanderson and Mikey Wallman (Randolph-Macon), Kyle Goddard (Christopher Newport) and Drew Phemister (Kings College, TN).
Always looking to boost the roster with talented visiting players, the Rails will welcome pitchers Brandon Creesy (Arizona Christian), David Lehner (Alderson & Broaduss) and shortstop Gus Morales (SUNY-Adirondack) into the fold.
For more information on the Roanoke Rails, please visit our website www.roanokerailsbaseball.com