Local Happenings

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!


It may be a little quieter than usual on campus in the summertime, but USC International Accelerator Program students have no shortage of activities to participate in. In April, the city of Columbia welcomed a new minor league baseball team, the Columbia Fireflies, into town.

With games held throughout the week from April through September, the baseball games are a classic American summer pastime for both the young and old! We took our students to the game on “$2 Tuesday” so hot dogs, soft drinks and popcorn only cost…you guessed it, $2! The game was a match-up between the Columbia Fireflies and the Augusta GreenJackets (from nearby Georgia). The Fireflies exploded with four home runs during the game to ultimately win 14-2 (that’s impressive)! USC IAP students even had an opportunity to meet the Fireflies mascot, Mason. Check out the pictures from our student outing below and be sure to read more about Mason’s story at the end of the blog!


Spirit Communications Park, the home of the Columbia Fireflies baseball team!


USC IAP students and Student Services Advisors at the baseball game! Via Columbia Fireflies Facebook!


Siyuan Zhao, Fei Teng and Kunfan Ding hanging out before the game.


Kunfan Ding, Jiahui Liu and Bowei Zhu relaxing during the game!


Student Services Advisor, Madeline Willett with USC IAP student Jiahui Xu!


Fei Teng, Jiahui Liu and Student Services Advisor Ford Johnson hanging out with the Columbia Fireflies mascot, Mason!

Who exactly is Mason and what is he? Check out his story below!

“On the outskirts of Columbia, South Carolina, a furry creature of the “Whatsit” family wandered through the forest cold and alone. Late at night, he arrived at Congaree National Park.

What he encountered there amazed him. He saw a synchronized, pulsating glow of separate lights that seemed to beckon him. When he approached one, he realized what he was seeing. He was in the middle of a large group of synchronized fireflies. Surrounded by their warm glow, he knew immediately that this was where he belonged.

The fireflies adopted him as one of their own and over time he earned his wings. The fireflies called him “Mason” because, just as so many of them had found a home in Mason jars, he had found a home with them. With the Columbia Fireflies coming to town, Mason has emerged from his forest home to help bring the joy he found with the fireflies to the entire Midlands region.

~ via ballparkdigest.com


Want to see what else our USC International Accelerator Program students are up to? Check out our other blog postings!

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