Gastonia Honey Hunters advance to championship series for the first time

The club will compete to win the Atlantic League championship in just its third year of play.
The Honey Hunters beat the rival High Point Rockers to advance to the Atlantic League Championship Series.
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 8:21 AM EDT
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GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) - The Gastonia Honey Hunters will soon play for a championship in only the team’s third season in existence.

Gastonia defeated the rival High Point Rockers in a “winner-take-all” Game 5 matchup in the South Division Championship on Monday to advance to the franchise’s first appearance in the Atlantic League Championship Series.

The Honey Hunters, who play in the independent Atlantic League, which is unaffiliated with any Major League Baseball clubs, set the Atlantic League record for home runs this season. The bats stayed hot against the Rockers, clubbing three home runs in Monday’s 9-3 victory.

“I’m proud of our team and how they fought all season long,” Honey Hunters Manager Mauro “Goose” Gozzo said. “We’re excited to win the first South Division Championship in franchise history and have the opportunity to compete in the Atlantic League Championships. Our work is not done yet!”

Founded in 2021, Gastonia has the highest all-time winning percentage in league history, and has made the ALPB playoffs in each of the past two years. During the current campaign, 11 players have had their contracts purchased by MLB affiliates or overseas leagues.

Gastonia will begin its title hunt on Tuesday when they travel to Pennsylvania to take on the Lancaster Barnstormers for Games 1 and 2 of the series. The final three games will be played in Gastonia at CaroMont Health Park.

The champion will be determined in a best-of-five series.

“We look forward to continuing our hunt for the championship as we tackle the final series of the season against the Lancaster Barnstormers,” Honey Hunters General Manager David Martin said. “Since our inaugural season in 2021, we have made significant progress on the field and look forward to competing in the 2023 ALPB Championship Series.”

Tickets for the league championship series start at just $8 and can be purchased here.

Related: Charlotte baseball wins first C-USA title in program history

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