The Tarboro River Bandits are less than 50 days away from their debut in the Tidewater Premier League, and owner Wayne Turnage is in the process of wrapping up the roster.
The River Bandits, who won the championship of the Carolina Virginia Collegiate League in the team’s inaugural season a year ago, open the season on the road at old foe Fuquay-Varina on Memorial Day.
There was no love lost between the two teams last summer with Fuquay-Varina winning six of 10 regular-season games with two rainouts before the Bandits swept the Twins in the postseason championship tournament, winning the title on a walk-off home run by Phillip Boykin.
The River Bandits will be led on the field this season by Vincent Fondacaro, a former college baseball catcher with five years of collegiate coaching experience.
Fondacaro, a New Jersey native, now lives in Charlotte, where he teaches health and physical education at Bradford Prep School.
Turnage said before finalizing the roster, he’d still like to line up five more host families.
“We still need about five (host families) to be able to house some of the players we want to add to the roster,” he said.
Earlier, Turnage had told the Telegram there aren’t as many players in the region in 2021 as there were a year ago and he’s having to work to attract players from farther away.
Five colleges are represented by multiple players, including Bucknell and Tennessee-Martin with four players each, Dartmouth, three, and High Point and Maryland-Eastern Shore, two each.
Currently, the River Bandits are carrying 25 players on their roster, including:
- Luke Allain, LHP, Bucknell University, Pottstown, Pa.
- Christian Baker, RHP, Charleston Southern University, Raleigh.
- Luke Carpenter, LHP, Dartmouth, Charlotte.
- Peter Consentino, 1B/OF, Montclair State, Whitehouse Station, N.J.
- Adam Cresswell, RHP, Frances Marion, Fairfax, S.C.
- Eli Culbreth, RHP, Gardner-Webb, Godwin, N.C.
- Jack Culumovic, SS/2B/OF, Tennessee-Martin, Simpsonville, S.C.
- Brantley Cutler, OF/LHP, East Tennessee, Washington.
- Bryce Daniel, SS/2B, Dartmouth, Charlotte.
- Andrew Funovits, RHP, Bucknell, Cranberry Township, Pa.
- Alec Greenblatt, RHP, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Oliveburg, Pa.
- Joshua Hartsfield, RHP, Barton College, Goldsboro.
- Wilson LaFollette, 1B/OF, Tennessee-Martin, Chelsea, Ala.
- Alexander McCoy, RHP/1B, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Baltimore.
- Jack Metzger, RHP, Dartmouth, Powell, Ohio.
- Bennett Nance, LHP, Louisburg College, Eden.
Jonathan Peacock, RHP, NC Central, Goldsboro.
- Kendall Pierson, OF/1B, Bucknell, Califon, N.J.
- Travis Reifsnider, C/OF, James Madison, Richmond, Va.
- Lawson Russell, LHP, Tennessee-Martin, Decatur, Ala.
- Anthony Sherwin, SS/2B, Bucknell, Harrison City, Pa.
- Tanner Smith, SS/2B/C, UNC-Wilmington, Goldsboro.
- Grayden Stauffer, RHP, Tennessee-Martin, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
- Adam Stuart, SS/@B/3B, High Point, Raleigh.
- Justin Wilkins, C, High Point, Cornelius, N.C.