Roanoke Post 3 jumped out to a 7-1 lead after four innings and rolled to the 13-6.win over Salem Post 3 Tuesday night in the American Legion West Senior playoffs at Kiwanis Field in Salem.
Roanoke followed its 8-0 regular season with a sweep of the playoffs to advance to Legion state play.
Salem, which moved into the finals after edging Vinton 4-3 earlier in the evening, was faced with the daunting task of having to beat Roanoke twice in the double elimination format. A rested Roanoke squad had too many weapons.
Roanoke struck first in the opening frame after Griffin Stanley (Cave Spring) was hit by a pitch, stole second and third, and scored on a single by Chris Ferguson (Hidden Valley).
Salem responded in their half of the second after a single and sacrifice attempt by Cory Lewis saw the throw to first plug Lewis in the back, giving Salem runners at first and third. Salem scored when Lewis tried to steal second and the throw sailed into center, allowing the runner on third to advance.
Roanoke scored four times in the third, the key blows being a two-run homer deep over the left field wall by Andrew Peterson (Cave Spring), and a bases loaded RBI single by Sam Lawrence (North Cross).
Roanoke tacked on two more runs in the fourth after Steve Klaiber’s (Cave Spring) triple to the right-center field wall plated Ferguson. Klaiber later scored to make it 7-1. Roanoke coasted the rest of the way.
Austin Gregory (Hidden Valley) picked up the win for Roanoke by mastering an efficient strike/ball ratio throughout the early innings, which began to take its toll on a Salem staff which was pushed to the limit in the back-to-back games.