GASTONIA, N.C. — Professional baseball is returning to Gastonia for the first time since 1995.

The Gastonia Honey Hunters are slated to debut in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) in May. The six-team league now has two teams based in North Carolina, with Gastonia joining the High Point Rockers who debuted in 2019.

The team name was chosen out of a group of five possibilities: Gastonia Fire Ants, Gastonia Hogzillas, Gastonia Honey Hunters, Gastonia Hotshots, and Gastonia Uppercuts.

"Honey Hunters was chosen to reflect the shared traits between City of Gastonia and those of the world's most fearless animal: fearless, determined, and resilient,” said Team Owner, Brandon Bellamy in a press release. “From day one, I was inspired by these attributes of Gastonia particularly as they relate to their unwavering commitment to ‘continuous improvement,’ or as we like to say, the hunt for honey,’ which is something we can all relate to.”

The team will play their home games inside the FUSE District Stadium, and an announcement on the club's first manager will be made in the coming weeks.