Holly Springs Salamanders ready to emerge around Coastal Plain League

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. – The action was high in a frenzied, yet controlled manner on Monday at the head office of the Coastal Plain League’s (CPL) newest franchise, the Holly Springs Salamanders.

Still located in a tucked away house up the road from their eventual location at the new North Main Athletic Complex, the management staff was busy preparing for the team’s season-opening game on Tuesday.

The team’s first-year coach, former N.C. State third baseman, Andrew Ciencin, will take the team on the road for two straight days before coming back for the sold out home-opener on Thursday.

Season ticket holders who pick up their package will find their tickets, welcome letters from the league and team, a facial tattoo and schedule cards, as well as a team roster – a list that is ever-changing in print and on the team’s website.

That’s just the nature of the CPL as many players are in the midst of and also beginning collegiate postseason play.

Thus, fans will not see the entire team’s full roster in action until further into the season.

With Monday’s announcement of the teams competing in the upcoming 2015 NCAA Division I College World Series, seven players listed on the roster will be with their respective teams (N.C. State, UNC-Wilmington, Arizona State, San Diego State, Missouri State) until each is eliminated and available to play in the CPL.

Two other players are competing up the road at the USA Baseball Training Complex in Cary in the NCAA Division II Championship as Catawba College is still in the mix.

As part of its high-paced, on-the-fly organizational operation, many of the team’s players checked in and practiced at Holly Springs High School over the weekend.

Expect that the action provided by the players on hand for opening night will give fans what they’re looking for – a night out to watch some entertaining baseball and to mix and mingle with others.

It will all just add to the excitement surrounding the team’s historic beginning in the league and in the area.

“The town seems to be ready for this,” Salamanders general manager Tommy Atkinson said back in early May.

At the beginning of the month, it looked as though most stadium amenities were scheduled to be completed in time for the team’s home opener on Thursday, according to Atkinson.

A casual drive-by of the facility on Monday showed the turf playing surface and surrounding field facility fencing was ready along with the blue chair-back seats that surround the field.

Workers continued to work past the five o’clock hour on the holiday to continue prepping the video board which is in place, as well as completing work and clean up in various areas inside and outside the facility.

Ready or not, the Salamanders are ready to emerge onto the Holly Springs and CPL sports and social scene.

For those who are rigid in their expectations, be prepared to have some flexibility.

Plans are in place to accommodate fans accordingly with alternatives for concessions and other amenities to provide the best baseball viewing experience possible.

“It’s gonna’ be a good social event,” Atkinson said.

“A minor-league feel with college-age kids playin’ with wooden bats.”