COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - If the announcement of Tim Tebow joining the Columbia Fireflies wasn't enough, perhaps the addition of a former University of South Carolina star will motivate baseball fans in the Midlands to make the trek to Spirit Communications Park this spring.
The franchise announced Wednesday that Gene Cone will be on the roster at the beginning of the 2017 season.
Cone, a Columbia native, played three seasons with the Gamecock baseball team after wrapping up his high school career at Spring Valley.
The career .293 hitter holds the longest hitting streak in school history at 31 games -- a feat he managed as a junior in 2016. That year he earned first-team all SEC honors and was on the 2016 NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team.
Cone was drafted by the New York Mets in the 10th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He spent 2016 with the Class A Short Season Brooklyn Cyclones in the New York-Penn League. He ranked third on the team with a .227 batting average in 60 games.
The Fireflies open the season on April 6. Here's where you can find ticket information.