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Cabarrus Magazine

College Bats Aim For The Fences In A Pair of April Games At Atrium Health Ballpark

Apr 07, 2021 11:29AM ● By Kristy Huddle

Building off a successful launch of baseball games in March, Atrium Health Ballpark welcomes two area colleges for spring match-ups in the lead up to the Cannon Ballers inaugural season opener in May. Queens University of Charlotte hosts Francis Marion University on Tuesday, April 13th (6:00 p.m.), and Catawba College takes on Belmont Abbey Monday, April 19th (6:00 p.m.). Both games are ticketed events and will go on sale Thursday with limited capacity adhering to current NC executive orders. 

“We are thrilled to welcome both Catawba College and Queens University to Atrium Health Ballpark later this month,” said Cannon Ballers General Manager Matt Millward. “We are lucky to have such a beautiful facility and using it to showcase our local colleges and universities is a perfect way to bring our community together.” 

Fans in attendance that call Rowan County home will notice a familiar face on the top step for the Royals showdown against Francis Marion on April 13th. Ross Steedley, the Rowan County Player of the Year in 2007, went on to play college baseball with the Charlotte 49ers, earning a spot on the All-Atlantic 10 First-Team in 2011. Steedley is in his first season as head coach with Queens.  

“I am very excited for our guys to play a game in the inaugural season at Atrium Health Ballpark. This is a great opportunity for Queens baseball and Queens University of Charlotte,” said Steedley. “Our administration, along with the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, have done a lot of work behind the scenes and we can’t thank them enough for making this happen.” 

Just six days after Queens and Francis Marion battle at Atrium Health Ballpark, the Catawba Indians will square off with the Belmont Abbey Crusaders on April 19th. Located just 30 minutes from Atrium Health Ballpark, Catawba has been a consistent Division-II powerhouse over the last two decades. Inducted into the Catawba Sports Hall of Fame in 2015, Head Coach Jim Gantt has led Catawba to 20-straight 30+ win seasons, including nine 40-win seasons since 2004. Gantt has been at the helm since the summer of 1996. 

“We can’t wait to play at the Cannon Ballers Stadium in Kannapolis,” said Gantt. “It is really exciting to be able to play in such a first-class facility, especially since it’s so close to home and our fans can enjoy it as well.”

Complying with all applicable government orders, a limited capacity of fans will be admitted to both games, with Cannon Ballers season ticket holders receiving first priority in securing tickets. Subject to availability, any remaining tickets will go on sale Thursday, April 7th at noon through Tickets for both games are priced at $10. All attendees will be required to follow local guidelines, included mandated face masks and social distancing measures.

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