Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame Taps 5; Expands Awards For July 31 Inductions

The Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame is ready for its new annual July date to formally induct the Class of 2022. Five area baseball players, coaches and contributors have been selected for induction at the 30th annual ceremony scheduled for Sunday evening, July 31 at the Salem Civic Center.
The Class of ’22 includes Eric Altizer, Ryan Gilleland, Tyler Lumsden, Keith Mayhew and Doug Pence. In addition, Renee “Butch” Craft will receive the prestigious Wayne LaPierre, Sr. Baseball Community Service Award, Trenton Sayers of William Byrd High School has been named as the recipient of the new Kelvin Bowles Scholarship Award and Christiansburg High School’s Nate Hall is this year’s Posey Oyler Scholarship winner.
The Hall of Fame has also announced the seven finalists of the Ray Bellamy High School Player of the Year Award. They include Preston Crowl (Franklin County), Nate Hall (Christiansburg), Owen Pence (Lord Botetourt), Mason Self (Christiansburg), Bennett Shealor (Blacksburg), Hunter Sipe (William Byrd) and Peyton Smith (Jefferson Forest). The winner will be announced at the annual “Last Inning High School Senior Game” at 6:00 pm on Saturday, July 30 at Carilion Clinic Field at Salem Memorial Stadium.
Eric Altizer (left) has been part of the Auburn baseball program for 31 of the 42 years it has been in existence as a player or coach.

Altizer grew up in Riner, Virginia and has been part of the Auburn baseball program for 31 of the 42 years the program has been in existence. As a player at Auburn, he was selected 1st Team All-Mountain Empire District and 1st Team All-Region C as a pitcher his junior and senior year. He graduated with a 1.10 career ERA while leading the Eagles to its first 2 of 3 consecutive district championships.

Altizer began his baseball coaching career as the head JV coach at Auburn in the late-80s and became the head varsity coach in 1999 for 10 years. He returned to Auburn as JV coach in 2013 and took over the varsity position again in 2016, where he currently still serves. Auburn has won three State Class 1A championships under Altizer with titles in 2017, 2019 and 2021. He was named Class 1A Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2019.
Ryan Gilleland played at Jefferson Forest before a stellar career at the University of Virginia earned him a place in the UVA Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020.

Gilleland is a 1994 graduate of Jefferson Forest High School where he was a four-year starter on the Cavalier baseball team. During his years at Jefferson Forest, he earned 1st Team All-Seminole District, 1st Team All-Region III and 1st Team All-State as a shortstop. Gilleland went on to attend the University of Virginia on a baseball scholarship where he was a 4-year starter from 1995-98. He was named an Honorable Mention Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball in 1995 and was a member of the 1996 ACC Championship team that finished ranked #13 in the country.

Gilleland holds numerous prestigious marks as a Cavalier and was elected to the UVA Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020. He later returned to Jefferson Forest to serve as their head baseball coach. He led JF to the 2015 4A state championship game, was named Seminole District Coach of the Year in 2016, and was named Region 4-D Coach of the Year in 2022.
Tyler Lumsden, a product of Cave Spring High School and Clemson University, was drafted in the 1st round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the4 Chicago White Sox.

Left-handed pitcher Tyler Lumsden was born and raised in Roanoke. He attended Cave Spring High School where he was the Salem-Roanoke Baseball Ray Bellamy Player of the Year in 2001. He was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 5th round of the 2001 Major League Draft and opted to attend Clemson University. In his freshman year, Clemson became the #1 team in the nation.  Lumsden was a freshman All-American and selected to the USA Olympic Trials while also pitching in the Cape Cod League. He followed with stellar seasons as a sophomore at Clemson and a junior season that had him as one of the top pitchers in collegiate baseball.

Lumsden was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 1st round of the 2004 MLB Draft, going 9-4 with a 2.69 ERA for the Double-A Birmingham Barons. Eventually, he was traded to Kansas City Royals where he made their 40-man roster following the 2006 season. He made stops with the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres before finally signing to play professionally overseas in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.
Keith Mayhew had a 34-5 pitching record at Ferrum and was a 3-time All-American.

Mayhew, a three-time All-American during his career at Ferrum College, is a member of Ferrum’s Alumni Sports Hall of Fame and has had his jersey retired by the Panthers. A star right-handed pitcher for Ferrum from 1992-95, Mayhew died after a sudden illness in 2015 at the age of 43. He completed his career with a 34-5 record and was chosen Small College Player of the Year in 1995. He holds Ferrum single season and career records in wins, strikeouts and innings pitched. Mayhew was drafted in the 31st round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves.

Doug Pence

Pence was an enthusiastic baseball coach serving as both an assistant coach at William Byrd High School under six different head coaches, as well as serving as the head coach of the American Legion Post 3 North team for five years. Pence also coached AAU and travel baseball for 10 years and helped tutor young players at Breckenridge Middle School. Pence was instrumental in the planning, construction and maintenance of the Terrier Field at William Byrd which is well-recognized as one of the top baseball facilities in area high school baseball. Pence’s commitment to William Byrd baseball is unmatched and he will forever be tied to the success of the Terrier tradition.

Renee “Butch” Craft has been involved in Little League Baseball as The Roanoker Restaurant has sponsored a team in the Cave Spring National Little League for 55 years.

Craft is receiving the LaPierre Community Service Award for her long-time support of Little League baseball. Craft is the sister of Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame brainchild, Posey Oyler. The Roanoker Restaurant, its founders, the Warren family, and Craft have sponsored “The Roanokers,” a member of the Cave Spring National Little League for 55 years. Despite The Roanoker Restaurant’s recent closing after 81 years in business, Craft has indicated she will continue to be part of the sponsorship of future teams.

The Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame was founded in 1991 and honors players, coaches and contributors from the counties of Alleghany, Bedford, Botetourt, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Montgomery, Roanoke, and the independent cities located within the boundaries of those counties. The Salem-Roanoke Hall of Fame building is located on the ground of the James E. Taliaferro Complex, next to the Salem Red Sox offices behind the third base seating area of Salem Memorial Ballpark.
For ticket information to the always-entertaining banquet or to sponsor a table, contact Gary Walthall at 540-427-1977.
Bill Turner

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