HOLLY SPRINGS – A day after watching an alum make their debut on Opening Day to start the 2024 Major League Baseball season, the Coastal Plain League (CPL) saw another former player – Mitch Spence (pictures courtesy of the Oakland Athletics) – make his first appearance in The Show. The former Wilmington Sharks right-hander debuted on the mound for the Oakland Athletics Friday night.

With the Athletics trailing 5-3, Spence entered from the bullpen to start the sixth inning. Acquired from the New York Yankees in the 2023 Rule 5 Draft, the 6-1, 185-pound Spence did not disappoint, giving up one run on two hits in three complete innings of work. He also walked three and struck out three.

Drafted by the Yankees in the tenth round back in 2019 out of USC Aiken, he started his professional career with Pulaski before moving up to High-A Hudson Valley following the COVID-19 pandemic. Spence finished the year 7-6 with a 3.94 ERA over 105 innings for the Renegades. The next year he opened for Double-A Somerset, where he started 15-of-17 appearances and averaged 9 K/9. He was then promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for the remainder of 2022, where he went 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA across 51 1/3 innings.

Spence would pick back up the following season right where he left off for the RailRiders, making 29 starts on the year. Throwing 163 innings, he tallied 153 strikeouts to 53 walks and finished 8-8 with a 4.47 ERA. After joining Oakland in December, Spence was invited to Spring Training where he impressed his coaches after he allowed just six earned runs on 15 hits to go with 21 punchouts in 17 2/3 innings and make the Opening Day roster for the A’s.

A member of the Sharks in 2017, Spence appeared out of the pen 18 times versus a pair of starts. Overall, he was 2-2 with a 4.04 ERA in 35 2/3 innings. In that time, he gave up 18 runs – 16 earned – on 31 hits, walked 20 and struck out 29. Wilmington reached the postseason that year and faced Gastonia in the Petitt Cup Championship Series but fell two games to none in the best-of-three series.

With his debut, Spence is the CPL’s second alum to debut this season and 187th overall.

About Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. The CPL is currently comprised of 15 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,750 alumni drafted, and 187 alums make their Major League debut. Most notable alumni include Justin Verlander, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Kevin Youkilis, Chris Taylor, Alec Bohm, Jake Cave, Chas McCormick and NFL Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok @CPLBaseball.

About Capitol Broadcasting Company:
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company which owns and/or operates WRAL-TV, WRAZ-TV, WRAL-FM, WRAL-HD2, WNGT-CD, WCMC-FM, WCMC-HD1, WDNC-AM, WCMC-HD2, WCMC-HD3, WCLY-AM, WCMC-HD4, Microspace, WRAL Digital and Wolfpack Sports Properties (a joint venture with Learfield) in Raleigh, NC; WILM-TV, WILT-LD and Sunrise Broadcasting in Wilmington, NC; The Durham Bulls Baseball Club, Bull City Hospitality and Coastal Plain League in Durham, NC; The Holly Springs Salamanders in Holly Springs, NC; Greenville Yard Gnomes in Greenville, NC, the American Underground startup hub in Durham, NC; and real estate interests including the American Tobacco Historic District in Durham, NC, and Rocky Mount Mills in Rocky Mount, NC.