The Atlantic League team’s successful season has been accompanied by plenty of distractions off the diamond.
Queen City News first reported that the team’s front office has been dealing with money troubles. Despite that, the team has worked to overcome financial hurdles down the home stretch as the players take the field Tuesday in their second playoff appearance in three years.
The team’s chief operating officer described the year as “a rollercoaster ride.”
The team has been working to resolve debt with the city, off-duty security officers, players, and staff – something they’re still working through as an organization.
“We are paying off our vendors, making payments to our vendors as fast as possible,” COO Veronica Jeon told Queen City News. “We have arrangements with them, and we’ve been keeping our arrangements.”
Despite all the distractions, the team has been putting on a show. They broke the league’s single-season home run record and secured a spot in the playoffs for the second time in three years.
“To put it in perspective, to be able to make the playoffs two out of three years, it’s getting the correct guys, having the correct system in place, getting them to relax and play to the best of their ability,” said Mauro “Goose” Gozzo, the Honey Hunters’ manager. “We feel like we do a really good job here. We give the guys an opportunity to better their careers later on also.”
Tuesday night will be a challenging matchup against their rivals, the High Point Rockers, who knocked them out of the playoffs last year in game five.
“I think the guys are ready to go,” Gozzo said. “I mean, it’s something that we feel like we feel like we’re prepared for. We’re going to give it our 100 percent. Obviously, it’s going to come down to, you know, who pitches best or who gets a clutch hit here or there. I mean, it’s two very evenly matched teams.”
The Honey Hunters play at CaroMont Health Park on Tuesday and Wednesday, and first pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. against the High Point Rockers, and the weather looks perfect for baseball.
The rest of the series will be on the road.