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WILMINGTON, NC (SHARKS RELEASE) — The Coastal Plain League has selected the Wilmington Sharks as one of three CPL teams to host a game of the USA-Japan International Friendship Series this summer. “We are delighted and honored to be able to host such high profile games in Coastal Plain League ballparks and communities,” said CPL Commissioner Justin Sellers. “There is a great history to this Friendship Series and having these games as part of our summer schedule will only add to the excitement our clubs have in store for our fans in 2014. Both USA Baseball and Japan feature elite talent, and these games will provide our fans with the opportunity to see some of the best players in the world.”

The first game will take place on July 6 at in Thomasville, N.C., the home of the CPL’s High Point-Thomasville HiToms. From there, the two teams will travel to Historic Fleming Stadium, home of the league’s Wilson Tobs, for a game on July 7. Finally, the series will conclude on July 8 at Buck Hardee Field, the home of the CPL’s Wilmington Sharks. Fans are encouraged to contact the Sharks (www.wilmingtonsharks.com) for more information on tickets.

The gates of Buck Hardee field will open at 2pm on Tuesday the 8th, in order for fans to get a closer look at these two teams as they take infield and batting practice on the field. Live music will be provided by Massive Grass, a local bluegrass band, beginning at 5pm. There will be an unforgettable fireworks show after the game. “On behalf of the entire Wilmington Sharks organization, we are thrilled to be welcoming Team USA and Team Japan to our newly renovated stadium,” commented Peter Freund, owner of the Sharks. “We can think of no better way to elevate the overall fan experience than to bring international competition to the Shark Tank!” “We fully expect to play this series in front of large crowds of great Coastal Plain League baseball fans,” said Eric Campbell, USA Baseball’s General Manager of National Teams. “These games are a great testament to the involvement that the Coastal Plain League and its franchises have with building their communities and helping grow the game of baseball. Fans can expect great baseball during these games and will be able to follow these players as they move on to future professional careers in each country.”

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