By Sports editor Brian Hoffman
The Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame inducted the Class of ’23 on Sunday evening
after co-sponsoring “The Last Inning” baseball games on Saturday along with the Salem Red
The Hall of Fame’s Class of ’23 includes former William Byrd standout Nick Jones along
with Reggie Poff, Matt Trent, Randy Lawrence and Roy Clark. Former Ferrum College baseball
coach Abe Naff was the guest speaker for the event at the Salem Civic Center.
Jones grew up playing recreation ball at old Jaycee Field and was a standout at William
Byrd High School, where he was part of three district champions, three region champions and a
state runner-up in 2000. He was a three time all-district and all-region selection, twice named all-
state and the recipient of district and region Player-of-the Year honors. He was the Hall of Fame’s
Ray Bellamy Award winner as Player-of-the-Year in the area served by the Salem-Roanoke
Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.
Jones is the William Byrd career leader in runs scored (115), third in career batting
average at .439, second in RBI’s (87), second in triples (4) and home runs (24), third in hits(98),
and top five in singles and doubles. Nick went on to play at Virginia Commonwealth University
where he was a part of three NCAA Regional teams along with two CAA Regular Season and
Tournament Champions. He was a two-time all-CAA First Team infielder and was selected to
the East Coast Collegiate All-Star Team following the 2003 season. Nick is in the top five in the
VCU season record book in at bats (253) and doubles with 21 in 2002 and 23 in 2003.
Jones was selected in the 11th round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft by the
Chicago Cubs. While in the Cubs Organization, Nick was a member of three league
Nick credited the William Byrd High School program for much of his success in his
acceptance speech, calling Byrd the “Gold Standard of high school baseball in the Roanoke
On Saturday the annual “The Last Inning” doubleheader for graduated seniors was held
at Salem Memorial Ballpark. Two William Byrd players were on the team wearing special Navy
Blue shirts, provided by the Salem Red Sox. The Navy team swept the doubleheader against the
Red shirted team, 16-5 and 9-1.
In the first game, Byrd’s James Purcell had a single, a sacrifice fly, two runs batted in, a
stolen base and two walks. In the second game Purcell had two walks and scored a run.
Byrd’s Evan Mullen had a triple and an RBI in the first game and did not play in the
second game, as he had just returned from the beach.
“The Last Inning” was the fourth annual. It was initiated in 2020 when the COVID
pandemic wiped out the regular season, and the event gave seniors that year a chance to get on
the field one last time. It was so popular it was decided to make it an annual event.
Between games this year’s Ray Bellamy Award winner was announced, and it went to
Trey Ludy of Cave Spring High School.