Teams representing three collegiate divisions collide to kick off the 2022 baseball season.
After hosting three college games that kicked off the inaugural baseball season at Atrium Health Ballpark, the Cannon Ballers have bolstered their 2022 baseball schedule with two Division I, two Division II games, and a Division III Showcase, springing fans into an entertaining year of baseball in downtown Kannapolis.
“We are extremely passionate about showcasing college baseball here in Kannapolis,” said Cannon Ballers General Manager Matt Millward. “The support from our community has shown that Atrium Health Ballpark is the perfect setting for a diverse schedule of collegiate matchups.”
The first pitch of the DIII Showcase, taking place from Friday, February 25 to Sunday, February 27, officially welcomes the 2022 baseball season to Atrium Health Ballpark. The weekend round-robin showcase will feature matchups between Marietta College (Ohio), Washington and Lee University (Virginia), Christopher Newport University (Virginia) and Keystone College (Pennsylvania). The jam-packed DIII Showcase will be FREE to the public, with a variety of food and beverage offerings available throughout the weekend.
Following the DIII Showcase, Appalachian State and Davidson will make their return to Atrium Health Ballpark as opponents on Tuesday, March 8. The Wildcats, led by third-year head coach Rucker Taylor, bested Wofford 7-6 last year in Kannapolis and finished the season with 27 wins. Coming off an impressive season in Boone, Kermit Smith’s Mountaineer squad features multiple First-Team All-Sun Belt selections, starting pitcher Tyler Tuthill and second baseman Luke Drumheller.
Driving just 15 miles up I-85 from Robert & Mariam Hayes Stadium, the Charlotte 49ers will step into the home of the Cannon Ballers on Tuesday, March 22 trying to build off an impressive 15-5 victory against App State last season. The Niners are coached by Charlotte native Robert Woodard and are coming off a historic season that saw them reach an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2011, piloted by Preseason All-American Austin Knight. Their opponent, Campbell University, continued their dominance in the Big South last season by reaching an NCAA Regional for the second straight year. The Fighting Camels are selected to win the Big South for the fourth straight season under two-time Big South Coach of the Year Justin Haire.
Moving to the DII ranks, locally based Catawba College will host the defending DII National Champion Wingate Bulldogs on Tuesday, March 29. Leading the Indians, Catawba Sports Hall of Famer Jim Gantt has been at the helm of the Indians program since the summer of 1996. Wingate manager and NCAA Division II Coach of the Year, Jeff Gregory, will attempt to lead one of the nation’s preseason favorites back to Cary, NC for another title run. Just seven days after playing in Kannapolis, Wingate will turn around to play Queens on Tuesday, April 5, with Queens acting as the home team in a matchup between two universities separated by just 30 miles. Rowan County (East Rowan High School) native Ross Steedley is in his third season at the helm of the Royals and will lead his program to their first appearance at Atrium Health Ballpark.
Cannon Ballers season ticket holders and supporters of participating schools will receive priority in securing tickets for all college games. The remaining tickets will go on sale Tuesday, March 1 at noon through kcballers.com.
ATRIUM HEALTH BALLPARK COLLEGE BASEBALL SCHEDULE
Friday, Feb. 25 – Sunday, Feb. 27: DIII Showcase (Free Admission)
Tuesday, Mar. 8: 6:00 p.m. - Appalachian State vs Davidson
Tuesday, Mar. 22: 6:00 p.m. - Campbell vs Charlotte
Tuesday, Mar. 29: 6:00 p.m. - Wingate vs Catawba
Tuesday, Apr. 5: 6:00 p.m. - Wingate vs Queens
DIII SHOWCASE SCHEDULE
Friday, Feb. 25
2:00 p.m. - Christopher Newport University vs Marietta College
6:00 p.m. - Washington and Lee University vs Keystone College
Saturday, Feb. 26
10:00 a.m. - Keystone College vs Marietta College
2:00 p.m. - Marietta College vs Washington and Lee University
6:00 p.m. - Keystone College vs Christopher Newport University
Sunday, Feb. 27
10:00 a.m. - Christopher Newport University vs Washington and Lee University