PLAY BALL! Redwolves open season
BOB SLOAN Editor
A crowd of several hundred fans filled the stands at Sparrow Stadium May 30 as the Florence Redwolves opened their 2019 Coastal Plain League season with tough to swallow 7-6 loss to the visiting Asheboro Copperheads.
The Redwolves are scheduled to play their sixth game of the season tonight in Gastonia. They play at home again Thursday against South Division rivals Lexington County.
Against Asheboro, Florence fell behind early, trailing 4-0 after two innings and 5-2 headed into the bottom of the sixth. In the Redwolves’ sixth, Micheal Richardson scored on a sacrifice fly to narrow the deficit to 5-3.
Florence’s Eldridge Figuroa then scored on a wild pitch and Joe Weisenseel followed with an RBI single to bring in Zack Durfee with the game-tying run.
Asheboro scored in both the eighth and ninth innings to go back up by two, 7-5. The Copperheads scored on a wild pitch in the eighth and on error by Florence in the top of the ninth.
The Redwolves cut the lead to 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth before Durfee struck out with runners on second and third to end the game.
After losing 12-6 to Macon on Friday, the Redwolves got their first win of the season Saturday at home against Fayetteville. Florence defeated the Swampdogs, 3-1. The Redwolves played Asheboro on Monday and Macon on Tuesday.
The Redwolves enter the 52-game regular season with a new head coach at the helm. Ryan Vruggink is an assistant coach at Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Missouri. He played at the University of Houston (2011-15) and Arkansas Tech (2014-17). Vruggink served as an assistant coach for the Martinsville Mustangs of the CPL in 2016 and 2017. He was an assistant coach for Macon in 2018. The coaching staff includes assistant coach Tyle Hankins and pitching coach Jake Schuster.
The Redwolves’ front office has lots of exciting promotions planned for the coming season, including a KISS Night, which happens to be Thursday. Fans are encouraged to dress as their favorite KISS band member. There will be a pre-game concert by KISS tribute band Unmasked.
Other promotions this season include a Doughnut Night, a Grateful Dog Night, a Yankees vs. Red sox Night and a Fan Appreciation Night. Every Thursday is Thirsty Thursday, with $1 12-ounce draft beers.
At each home game you will always have fun in- between inning events such as Best Seat in the House drawings, blow-up bagel stacking races, chicken dances, and balloon tosses.
The Redwolves play at the 800-seat Sparrow Stadium across from the campus of Francis Marion University. General admission tickets are $7. Box seats are $8. Youth under 10 get in for $6. Military personnel with ID are $5. Children under two are free.
2019 Schedule Date Opponent June 5 @ Gastonia June 6 LEXINGTON CO. June 7 SAVANNAH June 8 @ Lexington Co. June 10 @ Forest City June 11 GASTONIA June 13 @ Asheboro June 14 MARTINSVILLE June 15 @ Macon June 17 SAVANNAH June 18 @ Fayetteville June 19 MACON June 20 @ Macon June 21 LEXINGTON CO. June 22 @ Lexington Co. June 24 LEXINGTON CO. June 25 @ Lexington Co. June 26 @ Savannah June 27 SAVANNAH June 28 @ Savannah June 29 MACON June 30 @ Holly Springs July 1 SAVANNAH July 3 WILSON July 5 @ Savannah July 6 LEXINGTON CO. July 7 CPL All-Star Fan Fest July 8 CPL All-Star Game July 10 MACON July 11 @ Macon July12 LEXINGTON CO. July 13 @ Lexington Co. July 15 SAVANNAH July 16 @ Savannah July 17 @ Fayetteville July 18 LEXINGTON CO., July 19 @ Lexington Co. July 20 HP THOMASVILLE July 22 @ Lexington Co. July 24 @ Macon July 25 MACON (DH) July 26 @ Macon July 27 @ Savannah July 29 SAVANNAH July 31 @ Wilmington Aug. 1 WILMINGTON Aug. 2 HOLLY SPRINGS Aug. 3 @ Lexington Co. Aug. 4-10 Petit Cup Playoffs ** All games begin at 7 p.m., with the exception of the doubleheader with Macon on Aug. 25, which will begin at 6 p.m