By Natalie Simms
The Rome Braves wrapped up their regular season on Monday and are now gearing up for the 2018 South Atlantic League playoffs against the Lexington Legends. The best-of-three game series begins Wednesday in Lexington at 7:05 p.m. and will move to Rome for game two on Friday at 7 p.m.
“We’re really excited about the playoffs and looking forward to it,” says Jim Jones, Rome Braves assistant manager. “Our roster has changed somewhat from the first half of the season when we clinched a playoff berth by winning the division. But we are playing better and starting to gel over these last few games, so it will be a very competitive series.”
The Braves are pulling out the stops to get fans in the stands. They have partnered with Hardee’s restaurants in Rome, Cartersville and Calhoun for a special promotion. While supplies last this week, customers who purchase any combo meal can get a free ticket to the game.
“Ticket sales are already ahead of 2016, which was the last time we were in the playoffs. We expect a great crowd and we may run some additional ticket promotions closer to the game,” says Jones.
In the meantime, the Braves will be doing heavy promotion on social media to draw in fans for Friday’s game. Although the game will be competing with Friday night football games, Jones believes fans won’t want to miss it.
“The game will be very reminiscent of an Opening Day game. We will introduce the teams on the line…it will be very ceremonious and fun. We want to make it fun for the players, the coaches and the fans. The teams have worked hard to get here,” he says.
The Braves are still finalizing plans for the special guests who will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, serve as Honorary Captain and sing the National Anthem.
“Fans can expect to see really good, solid baseball,” says Jones. “They will see some good prospects. You can look at the Atlanta Braves now and see how well they are doing…those players came up through Rome.”
Rome also would host game three on Saturday if a third game is needed. If the Braves win the Southern Division playoff, they will advance to the championship series against the Northern Division champ. In that best-of-five championship round, Rome would host games one and two, Sept. 10 and 11. Lakewood won both the first and second seasons in the northern division and will face wild card Kannapolis in that best-of-three series beginning Wednesday.
Tickets are now on sale now for Friday’s game at the Rome Braves Box Office. Ticket prices range from $5 and $11 in advance or $6 to $13 the day of the game. For more information, call 706-378-5100 or online, Rome Braves.
ROME BRAVES AND THE PLAYOFFS
This is the fifth time in 16 years that the Rome Braves have gone to the South Atlantic League’s post season.
- The Rome Braves won the South Atlantic League championship in their first year, beating the Lake City Captains in 2003.
- Rome returned to the playoffs in 2006 as first half champs but fell to Augusta in a two-game sweep for the Southern Division title. Lakewood won the championship.
- The Braves fell to Asheville in the 2012 southern division playoffs, two games to one.Asheville went on to beat Greensboro for the SAL title.
- The Braves won it again in 2016 vs. Lakewood, three games to one.
- Radio: You can hear the games on 99.5 FM The Jock Wednesday.
- Coverage: We’ll have photos from the Wednesday night and Friday night games courtesy of Mills Fitzner. We’ll also have live coverage of the Friday game on our website and social media. We’ll have updates from Saturday’s game is a third game is needed in the series.