‘IT WAS AMAZING’: With Potomac getting set to bat in the top of the eighth inning, the storm hit at about 9 p.m. with very little warning.
Soon, tables toppled over on the concourse. Signs were ripped off walls and strewn into the seats by the powerful winds. The stadium lights flickered. The press box tower shook, flags atop the upper deck appeared to be flying diagonally upward, and players hustled into the dugout.
“It just came on out of the blue,” said Sox fan Rick Konstance. “It was amazing.”HUNKERED DOWN: Fans were instructed to file through doors normally off limits and head under the stadium, where the team clubhouses and batting cages are located. Hundreds did so in an orderly fashion and stayed there for about an hour as the storm raged.
Sox employees brought cups of water on trays to give to the fans. Some kids frolicked in the batting cages, while others clutched their parents.
“The kids got pretty scared,” said Konstance, holding 5-year-old son Holt in his arms. “I think it was a very organized response to a potential emergency. It was very, very well-handled. They got everybody to a safe position and kept everybody calm.”
ABOUT THAT GAME…: The contest itself was comparatively uneventful, as Potomac’s Nathan Karnes held the Sox to three hits. Salem’s only run scored on a wild pitch in the seventh – an inning in which Karnes notched the last four of his 10 strikeouts. The storm then dashed any further comeback possibilities.
“It happens,” Sox manager Billy McMillon said. “If there’s a silver lining to it, we didn’t have to use too many pitchers today.”
LOOSE ENDS: Potomac built a comfortable led with a three-run fifth inning keyed by a two-out, RBI single by Adrian Sanchez…All three of Salem’s hits were singles.
ON DECK: The sent RHP Miguel Celestino (5-3, 3.88) to the mound against Potomac RHP Adam Olbrychowski (2-6, 5.38) in the finale of the three-game homestand. – Aaron McFarling