The Tarboro River Bandits will open their fourth baseball season on Thursday, June 1 against the Fuquay-Varina Twins. The River Bandits are a summer collegiate team competing in the Premier Collegiate League.
Summer collegiate baseball has grown over the last few years due to Major League Baseball cutting a significant number of minor league teams. Summer collegiate teams have developed in several of the communities where minor league teams once existed.
The roster includes players from colleges throughout the southeast, but it also has players from around the country. The head coach is Grant Crosby, who is also Assistant Baseball Coach at Barton College.
The league has a lot of notable talent, including several players who are prospects in the upcoming MLB draft. The River Bandits have several draft prospects on the team as well, according to owner Wayne Turnage.
Former River Bandit, Liam McFadden-Ackman made national news after hitting two grand slams in a single inning for Northern Kentucky University while also hitting for the cycle in that same game.
The players are housed in host homes from Mid-May through Mid-August to provide a safe, comfortable environment while the players are away from their homes. This is an extremely important aspect of the sustainability of the team, and the team is in need of more host homes. Learn more about host homes here.
The River Bandits will play home games at Tarboro’s Municipal Stadium. The season includes over 40 games and runs through July with playoff games beginning July 31.
Tickets to single games cost $8 while children 5 and under get in free. Children 6-12 are $6. First responders and active duty military also get in for $6. Season tickets are available for $130, and both individual game and season tickets can be purchased online.
Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. this year, and they will have happy Hour drink specials from 5:30 to 6:30 each night. The gates open early to encourage fan interaction with the players, allowing kids to play catch with the players or get autographs before the game.
In addition to the opportunities for kids, the selection of food, beer, and wine promises an excellent experience for the whole family.
There are a number of promotional nights that support a great cause. On June 9th, the River Bandits will hold the JT Winstead Memorial Scholarship Game, which will give scholarship money to students in honor of JT Winstead, a Tarboro High School baseball player who was one of four teenagers killed in a car accident in 2021.
The River Bandits will host Home Run for Hunger Night on June 13. Fans can bring in two canned goods and get into the game for free. The food is then donated to a local food bank.
Other promotional nights include Church Night on June 25 and Date Night on July 11. You can view the full promotional schedule here.
The Tarboro River Bandits won the League in 2020 and 2021 and lost in the championship game last season.
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