ALBEMARLE — Now a quarter of the way into their inaugural season, the Uwharrie Wampus Cats — a new wood-bat collegiate baseball team stationed at Albemarle’s Don Montgomery Park — have proven they can put runs on the board.
After a 1-3 start to the season, the Cats (6-5) recently put together a five-game winning streak starting with a 6-5 home win over the Greensboro Yard Goats and a 17-4 road win at the Carolina Ducks. The team then defeated the Tarheel Royals 12-4 at home before facing the Ducks again in a 12-11 victory at home.
“We’re very grateful for the overwhelming show of support from our fans in Stanly County and beyond last week,” team owner Greg Sullivan said in a press release. “We had more than 700 people at the opener and good crowds all last weekend. We’re excited to be back and to have a summer full of entertainment in Albemarle with 25 home dates.”
Over the weekend, Uwharrie’s hot stretch cooled off a bit as the team traveled to Truist Stadium in Winston-Salem on Saturday, splitting a doubleheader versus the Carolina Disco Turkeys with a 5-0 win followed by a 3-2 loss.
The Cats returned to Albemarle on Sunday and lost 4-3 to the Greensboro Yard Goats.
“Our players have already grown in their first week of play,” Uwharrie general manager Jerry Min said at the Stanly County Board of Commissioners meeting on June 5. “They’re hitting the ball better and they’re throwing the ball better. They’ve really come together as a team, and I think that’s the hallmark of what we’re trying to achieve for the players is that kind of environment.”
Min also spoke on his team’s experience so far at Don Montgomery Park.
“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with the town to improve that facility and we’ve made what we feel like are some wonderful additions,” he added. “In addition to the basics of the field, we’ve added additional seating and we’ve added some new unique seating to the area. We have expanded the concession stand and we have a giant picnic area for families. We’ve really been working hard for the public to create an environment and a place that they like to come to where they can watch some really competitive baseball.”
Uwharrie’s 35-man roster is led by Houston Wright, a former Catawba Valley Community College assistant coach who is having his first experience as a collegiate head coach. In 2022, he joined the coaching staff for the nationally ranked JUCO powerhouse Catawba Valley Red Hawks, where he has worked extensively with infielders and hitters.
In the Wampus Cats’ start to the season, Catawba Valley Community College infielder Aiden Wilson has emerged as a power-hitting threat at the plate, while Mars Hill’s JD Lewis and CVCC’s Logan Murphy have pitched valuable innings.
The Cats are now set for a four-game homestand between Thursday and Sunday with the Queen City Corndogs, Race City Bootleggers, Disco Turkeys and Winston-Salem Moravians.
Tickets for all home games are $7 online and $8 at the gate.