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Forest City Owls
ForestCityOwls.png
Founded 2008
Home Field McNair Field
Based in Forest City, North Carolina
Colors Forest Green and Gold
League Coastal Plain League
League Titles 2009, 2010
Owner Phil Dangel
Minority Owner Rob Frost
Director of Baseball Operations Stephanie Blatnicky
Assistant Director of Baseball Operations Jason Alvis
Head Coach Connor Dailey

The Forest City Owls are a baseball team in the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The team played its inaugural 2008 season in Forest City, North Carolina after the same franchise (previously known as the Stingers), owned by Ken Silver, moved from Spartanburg, South Carolina in the offseason. The Owls play their home games at McNair Field, a new baseball stadium constructed near downtown Forest City by the municipal government utilizing town funds, private contributions, and more than $1 million in donations from Robert C. McNair, a Forest City native and owner of the NFL Houston Texans. The Owls won their home (and season) debut on Thursday, May 29, 2008, by a score of 4–2 over the Gastonia Grizzlies before 2,675 fans. McNair threw out the first pitch, and the Owls turned an ever-rare triple play in the top of the 6th inning.

In the 2009 season, the Owls won the Petitt Cup, the Coastal Plain League title, after going 51–9 in 60 games during the regular season and postseason. Forest City's 22–2 start, 24 first-half victories, 25 wins at home, and 46 regular-season wins all were CPL records. The Owls were also voted as the No. 1 collegiate summer team in the country, courtesy of pgcrosschecker.com.[citation needed]

On January 27, 2011 it was announced that the Owls had been selected by USA Baseball to host Team Japan on July 1, 2011.[1]

In the 2011 season, the Owls went back to the CPL playoffs to defend their back-to-back titles. The Owls fell in the second round to the Gastonia Grizzlies. The 2011 season was highlighted by the July 1, 2011 game of Team Japan vs. the Forest City Owls. Over 3,700 fans attended the game and witnessed the first-ever international game to be played at McNair Field. The Owls fell 8–1 to Team Japan but came back to have a 30–25 overall record for 2011. Over 64,400 fans walked through the gates at McNair Field that season.[citation needed]

In September 2015, Mr. Silver sold The Owls to Phil Dangel from Knoxville, Tennessee.[2] In 2017, The Owls led The CPL with the most victories for the entire season, winning both the first and second half. They also were recognized by the All-Star committee by having 5 all-stars as well as the coach, Matt Reed, was selected to coach The Western Division All-Stars.

Major League alumni

The Owls boast four alumnus in Major League Baseball. Both lefty pitcher Josh Edgin and right-handed reliever Heath Hembree played for Forest City in 2008 and 2009. Edgin got drafted by the New York Mets where he is still a member of the organization. Hembree initially signed with the San Francisco Giants and now plays for the Boston Red Sox.

Infielder Vince Belnome joined the team for the 2009 championship season. Belnome now plays 1st base in the Tampa Bay Rays organization.

Righty pitcher Spencer Patton played in Spartanburg in 2007 and made the jump to Forest City when the team moved in 2008. Patton made his Major League debut on September 4, 2014 and now pitches for the Texas Rangers.[3] Patton also played with the Owls in 2009, where we finished with a 9-0 record and 1.46 ERA.

Season by season results

Year Head Coach W-L PCT Overall Place Postseason
2008 Matt Hayes 28-26 .519 2nd CPL West CPL 1st round game: Lost to Florence RedWolves
2009 Matt Hayes 46-9 .836 1st CPL West CPL 1st round game: Beat HPT HiToms

CPL 2nd round series: Beat Fayetteville SwampDogs 2-0

CPL Petit Cup Championship series: Beat Peninsula Pilots 2-0

2010 Matt Hayes 37-19 .661 1st CPL West CPL 1st round series: Beat Asheboro Copperheads 2-0

CPL 2nd round series: Beat Peninsula Pilots 2-1

CPL Petit Cup Championship series: Beat Edenton Steamers 2-1

2011 Matt Hayes 30-25 .545 T-2nd CPL West CPL 1st round series: Beat Asheboro Copperheads 2-0

CPL 2nd round series: Lost to Gastonia Grizzlies 2-1

2012 Phil Disher 34-22 .607 1st CPL West CPL 1st round series: Beat Asheboro Copperheads 2-1

CPL 2nd round series: Lost to Fayetteville SwampDogs 2-1

2013 David Tufo 17-32 .347 7th CPL West
2014 Andrew Ciencin 30-25 .545 2nd CPL West CPL West Division Semifinal series: Lost to Gastonia Grizzlies 2-1
2015 J.T. Maguire 22-33 .400 7th CPL West
2016 J.T. Maguire 33-22 .600 1st CPL West CPL West Division Semifinal game: Beat HPT HiToms

CPL West Division Championship game: Lost to Savannah Bananas

2017 Matt Reed 36-18 .667 1st CPL West CPL West Division Semifinal game: Lost to Gastonia Grizzlies
2018 Matt Reed 29-20 .592 2nd CPL West CPL West Division Championship game: Lost to HPT HiToms
2019 Matt Reed 24-24 .500 2nd CPL West CPL West Division Championship game: Beat Gastonia Grizzlies

CPL Southwest Regional Championship game: Lost to Macon Bacon

2021 Connor Dailey 22-22 .500 5th CPL West
2022 Connor Dailey 22-25 .468 4th CPL West
2023
Total 410-322 .560 14 seasons
Playoffs 20-13 .606 10 playoff appearances, 2 championships

References

  1. ^ "Coastal Plain League: The Nation's Hottest Summer Collegiate Baseball League". www.coastalplain.com. Archived from the original on 2015-11-20.
  2. ^ "Forest City Owls". Archived from the original on 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  3. ^ "Coastal Plain League: The Nation's Hottest Summer Collegiate Baseball League". www.coastalplain.com. Archived from the original on 2013-04-16.