Pat Kenelly Diamond At Alumni Field Gaining Artificial Turf
18 October 2016
Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field, home of the Southeastern Louisiana baseball program, is gaining a major offseason upgrade to the playing surface with the installation of artificial turf, head coach Matt Riser announced as work commenced Monday.
A ProGrass system, called ProGrass Turf HR, will cover the infield and all of the foul territory on the playing surface.
"This is a huge step for our program," Riser said. "With the upgrades the last two years, this is a big part of that project. We've got to continue moving forward in the arms race of facilities. It'll help us from a field maintenance standpoint, freeing up the coaches for more one-on-one instruction."
Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field faces a rigorous schedule throughout the year with regular season college games and practices, summer tournaments and junior college games in the fall.
"The biggest part is it allows our guys to get out on the field more," Riser said. "On days we have rain, there'll be no worries about getting back out there to practice. We feel like it's going to be a game changer for us, not only from a recruiting standpoint but also a playing standpoint."
Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field will be unique among the NCAA Division I ballparks in Louisiana as both the pitcher's mound and home plate area will be turf. The field will continue to have a traditional look, with brown turf slated to cover the pitcher's mound, batter's box and infield dirt areas.
"Every year we want to grow all of our facilities," Southeastern Director of Athletics Jay Artigues said. "We couldn't be more excited for baseball. They've had a lot of success over the last several years and we want to continue that. With that comes recruiting, and with recruiting comes facilities."
In 2016, Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field gained box seats down the right-field line and a new video scoreboard. The restrooms were also renovated. All of the projects, including the turf, were made possible through donations and fundraised dollars.
Over the past three seasons, the Lions have won a regular season Southland Conference title, a Southland Conference Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Regionals twice. During that time, the baseball team has appeared on the ESPN family of networks 24 times.
Southeastern has won 75 percent of its games at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field since 2014 (65-22, .747), hosting seven games against nationally ranked opponents. The success has also brought an increase in attendance, averaging more than 1,000 fans per game each of the last two seasons and setting school attendance records in the process.
"The technology and durability they have now with the turf, it's a no-brainer for us," Riser said. "It's not going to change our style of play. It may even help us, allowing us to play even faster than we do now."
The Lions open the 2017 season at home, hosting a round-robin tournament featuring UL Lafayette, Hofstra and Murray, Feb. 17-19.
Source : lionsports.net