The guys sitting with him in the Miller Lite Marina were busy comparing this year’s team to the inaugural group in 2003 that went on to win the SAL title.
“It’s about time they got back to the playoffs,” Hayes said. “I don’t think we’re just going to be in the playoffs. I think we’re going to win the playoffs.”
This is Rome’s first appearance in the postseason since 2006. After winning the Southern Division’s second half title by going 44-24, the Braves began a three-game series with first half champion Asheville on Wednesday night.
Rome fans were wondering if they would get to the postseason after the Braves finished in last place in the Southern Division prior to the SAL All-Star break.
But a turnaround in the second half of the season put them in the playoffs with a chance to bring another title back to Rome.
Hayes, from Adairsville, said he has seen the Braves get better and better in the last two months.
“These guys are playing as a team,” he said. “When you watch them, you can tell.”
Rome’s Chandra Stone was sitting in the second deck along with her son, Corey, 13, and friend, Lacy Clack.
“This is fantastic,” Stone said. “It’s community and it feels like family because these are our guys. You just feel like you know these kids and you’ve got to come out here and support them.”
“I loved how they made a comeback from so far behind,” Corey said. “They have worked hard and taken it by storm.”
An early surge had put Rome ahead 5-0 in the fourth inning as Rome’s Katheryn Towers watched the game with four generations of her family.
“I think they’re doing beautifully. They are playing like they want to win,” said Towers, an Atlanta Braves fan that enjoys football and baseball.
“I love it all,” she said. “If they keep this up they’re going all the way.”
The Braves won 5-3. They will play the second game of the series Friday night in Asheville, N.C.