So, instead, we have Carolina League co-champions this year for just the second time in the history of the league. Lynchburg, who won the Northern Division playoff, and Southern Division champ Down East have been declared co-champs.
The last time this happened it was also due to a hurricane. In 1999, Hurricane Floyd forced an evacuation of Myrtle Beach during the Mills Cup finals. The Pelicans shared the title with the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
Last week with Irma approaching the continental U.S., the Carolina League decided to cancel their championship series, and two other MiLB leagues did the same. The four teams in the playoffs all agreed to this, and the two division series were cut from best-of-five to best-of-three.
“This was not an easy decision,” said League President John Hopkins last Friday. “While much remains uncertain with this storm, it seems clear that there will be major damage wherever it goes, as there already has been in some Caribbean nations. Our immediate area remains at risk, too.
“Our game has a number of people who call Florida and the Caribbean home. With the prospect of potentially devastating impact, it just felt right to call it a season after this weekend’s first round.”
The two first half winners still had home advantage, as Lynchburg and Myrtle Beach were scheduled to open with games on the road and host the next two. Both first half winners lost their openers on the road Thursday, as Frederick edged Lynchburg, 10-9, and Down East defeated Myrtle Beach in Kinston, 4-1.
On Friday Down East finished off the Pelicans with a 2-1 win in Myrtle Beach, claiming a share of the Carolina League championship. However, in the Northern Division Lynchburg evened the series at 1-1 with a 4-0 shutout of the Keys in Lynchburg. The Cats then won the series Saturday with a 7-1 victory to share the title with Down East.
Down East is an affiliate of the Texas Rangers. It was the sixth title for a team calling Kinston home, but the other five were all affiliated with the Cleveland Indians.
This is the eighth time Lynchburg has been a champion. The Hillcats are the current Indians affiliate.
Salem’s Kyle Reighard is the first string punter for the Charleston Southern football team. The former Spartan placekicker and punter is a redshirt sophomore.
Kyle is currently leading the Big South Conference with 537 total yards and an average of 44.6 yards per punt. The Bucs are 0-1 after losing their opener at Mississippi State, 49-0, and getting postponed against South Carolina State last Saturday. They’re scheduled to play at Elon this Saturday.
Charleston Southern has added a game against Indiana University to the schedule. The Hoosiers will host the Bucs on October 7 after both lost a game to the Irma. Indiana was scheduled to play Florida International last weekend and that game was cancelled.
At Salem, Reighard connected on 15-of-19 field goals and 148-of-152 extra-point attempts while averaging 39 yards per punt for his high school career. He had 12 punts downed inside the 20 and his longest punt as a Spartan went for 63 yards.
A LIGHT 310 POUNDS
Alex Light has played both tackle and guard for the University of Richmond football team this year due to a rash of injuries. That’s not at the same time, of course, although the former Spartan probably could do it.
Richmond is off to a 1-1 start, losing to Sam Houston State in the opener, 48-34, in Huntsville, Texas. Sam Houston came into the season as the third ranked team in the FCS and Richmond was seventh.
Last weekend Richmond bounced back with a 20-17 win over the 25th ranked FCS team, Colgate, in Hamilton, NY. The Spiders have their home opener this Saturday against Howard University at 2 pm at Robins Stadium in Richmond.
A senior, Light started every game last season and even caught a pass for 15 yards against James Madison. Those of us who remember Alex as a center on Salem’s 2013 state champion basketball team aren’t surprised. He has great hands and is surprising light on his feet for a 6’6”, 310 pounder. The latter trait is what makes him a potential NFL lineman after his days at Richmond are through.
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