The Kinston Wingmen are thrilled to announce a ten-year partnership with Lenoir Community College, situated at 231 North Carolina Highway 58, in Kinston, North Carolina. This collaboration grants the team access to the renowned Lancer Field on the Main Campus, a facility that the LCC Lancer Baseball Team currently calls home. The field will be utilized by the Kinston Wingmen during June and July.
This exciting agreement is a result of fruitful discussions between the Wingmen’s ownership group, LCC Athletic Director Shelly Barnes, and Senior Vice President of Administrative Services Deborah Sutton. The collaboration was made possible through the efforts of LCC Head Coach Gary Smith and Assistant Coach Coy Barnett.
As part of this alliance, Ballred LLC, which owns the Kinston Wingmen, will finance a series of improvements to Lancer Field over the coming decade. Kyle Confer, COO of Ballred LLC, expressed great enthusiasm about partnering with LCC, describing it as a “first-class college” with outstanding facilities that the company aims to enhance even further. He highlighted Ballred’s ongoing support for Junior College athletics across North Carolina and voiced pride in continuing that tradition in Kinston.
This significant investment covers the construction of vital facilities such as a press box, concession stand, and restrooms due for completion in 2025. Moreover, the agreement allows flexibility for the Wingmen to move to Grainger Stadium at any time if they secure a contract with the City of Kinston.
Kinston Wingmen General Manager Billy Stern conveyed their dedication to becoming an integral part of Kinston and Lenoir County by stating that they intend to build something that locals can embrace and be proud of.
Lenoir Community College’s Athletic Director Shelly Barnes showed equal optimism towards this collaboration with Ballred LLC and the Kinston Wingmen organization. She believes it will benefit both parties while enriching community engagement and improving LCC’s facilities even further. Barnes is excited to nurture this alliance in the years to come.
The Kinston Wingmen are part of the Old North State League, a collegiate wood bat league with fifteen teams across North Carolina from the Mountains to the coast. With fifteen teams currently, the ONSL is the 4th largest collegiate summer league in the country and continues to attract new teams. The Old North State League season runs from May to July.
The Commissioner of the Old North State League, Eric Sibrizzi, had this to say about the agreement, “Kinston is an Old North State League community through and through. We are really excited to plant our flag there as we continue our expansion East. Our goal here at the Old North State League is to expand the game of baseball, while impacting the next generation of ball players. Kinston has been a baseball community for years, and with this agreement we can assure the Kinston community that high level baseball is here to stay for a long long time.”