MARTINSVILLE, Va. – The Martinsville Mustangs are ahead of the curve in our area for college wood bat baseball, having joined the elite Coastal Plain League 17 years ago.
“But you know Martinsville has been a staple in the CPL now for many years. We know how to run the organization, how the CPL works,” head coach Brandon Nania said.
And while new summer league teams like the Danville Otterbots and Pulaski River Turtles don’t regularly play the Mustangs, Nania says more exposure for the players is never a bad thing.
“Oh, it’s awesome for the new league to come in and do something with the teams that couldn’t play professional baseball anymore and bring talent to those teams.”
Martinsville is home for the summer for VMI and Amherst County’s Will Knight, and his family certainly enjoys the short trip South.
“Definitely an honor, they’re definitely proud,” Knight said. “They always call and tell me they’re proud. They really support me. They come to every game they can, get off of work and drive an hour and a half down the road to watch me, it’s great.”
But for Liberty’s Trey Carter and UMBC’s Christian Easley, the Southside is where they grew up.
“I came to a lot of games, I would always show up with my dad and watch the Mustangs play,” Carter said. “You know, play for them one day. Play for my hometown, play for the crowd. It’s a blessing in disguise.”
And for 31 nights a summer, they’re showing why baseball belongs at Hooker Field.
“I rather be here than playing somewhere else, staying with a host family, instead of being here in front of my family,” Carter added. “This town has a lot of baseball history and I want to keep it in this town.”