KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Axmen will not finish the Appalachian League season.
USA Baseball has canceled the remainder of the Axmen’s season after a player was arrested after allegedly making threats to the team.
Chris Allen, president of Boyd Sports, which operates the Axmen, said a new team is being assembled to fill the Axmen’s remaining schedule.
The new team is being called the Kingsport Road Warriors and will play all of its games on the road, beginning at Bristol on Friday night. A new coaching staff has been hired, and the team will get together for the first time at Hunter Wright Stadium on Friday morning.
How we got here
The Axmen postponed home games Monday and Tuesday after Matt Taylor, who had been dismissed from the team, was arrested after making threats "to kill multiple people” at Monday’s game against Greeneville, according to information provided by the Kingsport Police Department.
Taylor, a 2018 Dobyns-Bennett graduate who pitched in four games for NCAA DI Kansas in the spring, was charged Monday with three counts of false reporting (a Class C felony) and one count of harassment, according to court documents. He was released Monday after posting a $25,000 bond.
Team officials have not been willing to elaborate on the reason for Taylor’s dismissal. A joint statement released Tuesday from Axmen General Manager Steve Brice and Boyd Sports, which manages operations for the Kingsport team, said, “A player has been removed from the team for conduct of concern and violation of team rules.”
Team officials have referred all player personnel questions to USA Baseball, the organization responsible for assigning players to each Appy League team.
Boyd Sports, LLC, assumed management of the Kingsport franchise prior to the start of the 2021 season.
The Appalachian League is a collegiate summer league and part of the Major League Baseball and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline, a collaborative effort that establishes a player development pathway for amateur baseball players in the United States.