After just missing out on the postseason its first two years, the Columbia Blowfish are guaranteed to be involved with playoff baseball this season.
The Coastal Plain League squad has been awarded the Petit Cup Championship series that crowns the league champion. The event will consist of an eight-team playoff at Capital City Stadium from Aug. 7-9.
Aside from that season-ending coup for Blowfish management, they again will offer a full plate of activities and opportunities for baseball fans.
“The fans want something fresh,” Blowfish president Bill Shanahan said.
Team USA will hold National Team trails June 21-23. It will play intrasquad games on the 21st and 23rd, with an exhibition game against the Blowfish scheduled for the 22nd.
The USC Alumni baseball team will dust off its cleats and gloves for the second consecutive season and have another go at the Blowfish for a July 3 game that will include fireworks afterward. Last season, the largest crowd in the history of Capital City Stadium watched the USC alumni defeat the Blowfish.
The Blowfish will play a regular-season contest on July 4 followed by fireworks.
• Thirsty Thursday, which will feature $1 16-ounce draft beers from 6-8 p.m. for Thursday home games;
• $1Pepsi and hot dog night, June 17;
• Bring Your Dog to the Park night, July 6;
• Chances to win Atlanta Braves tickets;
• Guaranteed Victory night, when fans will receive a free ticket to a future game if the Blowfish lose.
“People like things we have to offer,” Shanahan said. “We want people to say, ‘What are they doing at Capital City Stadium tonight?’ Fans are going to have fun, going do something different and its cost affordable.”
Third-year manager Tim Medlin has used his contacts from 30 years in baseball to bring in players from local colleges as well as Midland players who are attending college elsewhere.
Robbie Wilcox, a former Dreher standout who plays at Brown, headlines that group. Jesse Barbaro, Justin Hopper, Will Casey and Keegan Linza are from USC. Sid Fallow (The Citadel) and David Anderson (Coastal Carolina) also join the team. During the 2006 season, Anderson pitched the only no-hitter in team history.
“I’m an old coach, and I know all the coaches, so I ask around and see what they have to offer,” Medlin said. “I’m going to look out for local guys. We want good, local young men.”