Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

June 20, 2007

P-Rays open season tonight

PRINCETON — Ready or not, the first pitch must be thrown.

The Princeton Devil Rays have barely been together two days, but the season must start tonight. The schedule says so.

“I look forward to getting the ball rolling,” Princeton manager Jamie Nelson said. “I do wish we were playing (sooner), but I know with the guys just getting here, we need a couple of days to get ready, no doubt.”

While the remainder of the nine-team Appalachian League have already played at least one game, the Devil Rays had to wait an extra couple of days. That is fine with Nelson, who was still trying to put names with faces earlier in the week.

“We don’t even have our whole club here so those two days are going to help us,” said Nelson, during Monday’s ‘Meet the Devil Rays’ event. “I don’t think it is going to put us behind that much.

“I think our inexperience will either get experience and show that, or our inexperience will show, but I wouldn’t say it is a big advantage. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t even know everybody’s name so I’m looking forward to learning that.”

Princeton, starting its 20th season as a professional baseball franchise, will host the Kingsport Mets in its opener at 7 p.m. at Hunnicutt Field. Admission is free, with the first 700 fans receiving magnet schedules and the initial 500 through the gate also taking home a Devil Rays’ ballbat pen.

“I look forward to it,” Nelson said. “The bios that I’ve read on these kids are very exciting to me, I look forward to working with everyone of them.”

The 68-game schedule, including 34 home games, will feature a young Princeton squad that includes just five returnees from last season, and another player who was here in 2005.

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