Tarboro’s River Bandits will play a 46-game schedule, opening on the road against the Carolina Pirates on May 27 at Western Harnett High School, according to the Tidewater Premier Collegiate League (PCL) website.

Additionally, the league’s all-star game, which pits Eastern all-stars versus Western all-stars, will be held in Tarboro’s Municipal Stadium on July 23. The event included a fireworks display and a home run derby last summer in Edenton.

The Bandits won the Carolina Virginia Collegiate League (CVCL) championship in their inaugural season last year before moving to the PCL in the off-season.

The Bandits will compete in the Eastern Division while the other four teams that made up the rest of the CVCL — Fuquay-Varina, Wake Forest, Carolina Thunder and the Pirates — will make up the Premier League’s Western Division. Joining Tarboro in the East will be the Edenton Steamers, Greenbrier Knights and Tidewater Drillers.

The PCL has also included six “at-large” teams in the schedule, including the Peninsula Pilots, Morehead City Markins, Wilmington Sharks, Wilson Tobs and Asheboro Copperheads of the Coastal Plain League and the independent Catawba Valley Stars.

Bandits owner Wayne Turnage told the Telegram that he has 32 players committed to the Bandits, but that he was waiting on several college coaches to sign off on their respective player’s contract before releasing their names. The Bandits have 25 players listed on their roster on the team website.

“We are excited to host the All-Star game and I hope we can open the gates (to more fans),” he said. “We have a very exciting home schedule that should be very entertaining to the town.”

In addition to a new league, the Bandits will also be under new field leadership this season. Vincent Fondacaro, a former college baseball catcher with five years of collegiate coaching experience, will lead the team after Brandon Matthews chose not to return.

The Bandits will play four games in May and 21 each in June and July. There is one home game in May, 14 in June and 15 in July. All games, home and away, are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will be nine innings.

Turnage said the Bandits still need host families for players.


Persons interested in hosting a member of the River Bandits team are asked to call Susan Turnage at (252) 531-8560 or Wayne Turnage at (252) 560-8625 or by email at jasontylersmom@yahoo.com.

River Bandits schedule

May

27 — at Pirates; 28 — at Tidewater; 29 — Greenbrier; 31 — at Fuquay-Varina.

June

1 — at Greenbrier; 2 — at Asheboro; 3 — Drillers; 5 — at Edenton; 6 — Asheboro; 8 — at Tidewater; 10 — Edenton; 11 — Greenbrier; 12 — Tidewater; 15 — at Greenbrier; 16 — Thunder; 18 — at Edenton; 20 — Greenbrier; 21 — Peninsula; 23 — at Greenbrier; 24 — Tidewater; 25 — at Wilson; 26 — Catawba Valley; 27 — Catawba Valley; 29 — Wilson; 30 — at Thunder.

July

1 — Greenbrier; 2— at Wilmington; 3 — Edenton; 5— Pirates; 6— Tidewater; 7 — at Wake Forest; 8 — Edenton; 9 — Tidewater; 10 — Greenbrier; 13 — Greenbrier; 15 — Edenton; 16 — at Edenton; 17 — at Peninsula; 19 — at Edenton; 20 — Tidewater; 21 — Wake Forest; 22 — Tidewater; 23 — All-Star Game at Tarboro; 24 — Greenbrier; 26 — at Edenton; 27 — Edenton; 28 — Fuquay-Varina; 29-31 — Post-season tournament.

August

1-7 — Post-season tournament.