I always like taking the 178 mile round trip down Route 15, past a
“Saturday night,” motel where I count the cars, the little house for sale
in the mountains that like Walter Mitty, I dream about living in, across
the upper Potomac into Maryland, down alternative Route 40 through the
mountain hamlets of Middletown and Boonsboro to Hagerstown, MD, the home at
least for another year, to the Washington Nationals Low A – SALLY
Seeing the home club Suns make the playoffs, and beat West Virginia three
straight games in the semi-finals could have been the highlights of my
season in themselves, but my supreme pleasure was seeing an unknown 22-year
old right hander, Jake Johansen, come out of nowhere to pitch 5 innings of
shut out ball to beat the Savannah Sand Gnats in the first game of the
South Atlantic League Championship Series.
The Nationals drafted 6-6 Jake out of Dallas Baptist University in the 2013
draft and assigned him initially to Rookie A- Auburn where he was 1-1, with
a 1.06 ERA, in 10 GS, walking 18 and striking out 44 batters in 42.1 IP.
They then sent him up to Hagerstown where the first week in September, he
got two starts, pitching 9.1 IP with an undistinguished 5.79 ERA.
After he had opened my eyes with his distinguished performance against
Savannah, I made a note of asking Jake to pose for a photo shoot before
the next playoff game. He turned out to be a personable, clean cut, young
man, who personified the type of person you want to see succeed.
And if there’s any justice in this hard world of professional baseball,
you’ll see him succeed, and me get the house I want high up in the moun