COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Tonight marks the start of the season for the Columbia Blowfish baseball team, but before they take to the field, Monday night they took to the bowling alley.
WIS Team Sunrise and Rick Henry bowled alongside the Blowfish who are the defending champions in the collegiate summer league's Coastal Plain League.
"After winning the championship last year, it's a great way to come in," said Bill Shanahan, the Owner and President of the Blowfish. "We're the defending champions, and we're going to start it off tonight with blowfish bowling."
"It's baseball 24/7," said Zachary Russell-Myers who was on last year's championship team. Myers has returned for his second season with the Blowfish, "It's nice to come out here and have an evening off where we can just have team bonding and get our mind off baseball for a little bit," said Myers.
Myers says the players have only been practicing for a few days, but he thinks the team looks strong. "I think we have a strong hitting team this year…a lot of power," said Myers, "which is going to change out for the speed we had last year. Overall, I think we have a pretty strong team, and we'll have another shot at [the championship]."
So what about their bowling skills? "From what it looks like, I'm not going to lie to you…we need some practice out here at the bowling alley," said Myers.
But as they got in a rhythm, players of the Blowfish were throwing strikes. Something their determined to do on the diamond under a new head coach. "When you win like that," said Shanahan referring to last year's championship. "Our head coach, Brian Buscher, accepted a position with the USC Gamecocks Baseball team, so we had to go out and search for a new head coach. We found a great one. Jonathan Johnson who used to play for Florida State and pitched for the majors for 5 years, and his assistant is a former Gamecock, as well, Parker Bangs. It should be a great season."
It is also expected to be the last season for the Blowfish at Capital City Stadium. "With every farewell there's hopefully a new hello," said Shanahan. "We look to continue to open those gates every night at historic Capital City park just like we did in the very beginning, and we'll see where we go from there."
News 10's Rick Henry, Hannah Horne, Len Kiese, Tim Miller and Mary King and some News 10 family members bowled alongside the Blowfish during their break last night. To see how they did, watch the video above.