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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : sports : local sports June 29, 2022

3/30/2022 9:51:00 AM
College, Gastonia Mark Reopening Of Sims Park
Now home to the Gaston College Rhinos
A big crowd was on hand for the recent ribbon-cutting at Sims Legion Park.
(Photos Courtesy Gaston College)

A big crowd was on hand for the recent
ribbon-cutting at Sims Legion Park.

(Photos Courtesy Gaston College)

(Top) Pitcher Gus Hughes is congratulated by his fellow Gaston College Rhinos.
(Bottom) Gaston College baseball player J.D. Yakubinis is flanked by young fans.

(Top) Pitcher Gus Hughes is
congratulated by his fellow
Gaston College Rhinos.

(Bottom) Gaston College
baseball player J.D. Yakubinis
is flanked by young fans.

Lincoln Herald Staff

A big crowd turned out for Saturday’s reopening of Sims Legion Park in Gastonia.

According to Gaston College spokeswoman Haleigh DiBetta, the renovated park is to be the home of the Rhinos, the school’s new baseball team. College officials and representatives of the City of Gastonia were all on hand to mark the official début of the newly-refurbished park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Among those attending were college president Dr. John Hauser, Gastonia Mayor Walker Reid, members of the Gastonia City Council and Gaston College Board of Trustees and many others who helped make this renovation possible.

Following the ribbon-cutting, the Rhinos played a three-game series against Wake Tech Community College of Raleigh. There was a doubleheader on Saturday and another game on Sunday. College students, faculty members and staffers were joined by friends, family and members of the community to cheer on the Rhinos. An estimated 400 people attended the weekend’s games and events, which included local food trucks and giveaways for fans.

Hauser got the games started by throwing out the first pitch on Saturday. 

“We have worked hand-in-hand with the City for months to create a new home for the Rhinos,” he said. “We shared investments, staffers and resources to create one of the best junior college baseball facilities in North Carolina and possibly the nation. We hope this new home for the Rhinos becomes a place where people can gather, watch some great baseball and create memories.” 

A new face was there as well. Mo the rhinoceros, the college’s new mascot, was revealed right before the first game.

“It was exciting for everyone to meet Mo,” said Hauser. “Having Mo at future events will continue to foster the school spirit we’ve seen grow since bringing athletics back.”

Mo greeted those who attended the game, and he posed for photographs.

The Rhinos swept the three-game series against Wake Tech with an impressive no-hitter performance by pitcher Gus Hughes, winning the first game nine to zero. A six-two win for their second game capped off a record-breaking Saturday. The Rhinos wrapped things up with an 11-one win on Sunday.

The Rhinos’ first season is off to a successful start, with a 26-and-one record. They are currently ranked number one in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 10 Conference, and they rank in the top eight of all three National Junior College Athletic Association polls.

The Rhinos will be back in action at Sims Park April 2-3 for a three-game series against defending Region 10 Champions, Patrick & Henry Community College of Martinsville, Va. Admission to the games will again be free.

For the Rhinos’ schedule and more information, be sure to see the Website at

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