Lions Field was constructed in 1981 and still stands today in its original site on campus. Over the years it has received numerous updates and improvements. When current Head Baseball Coach, John Hill III, was hired in August of 2008, he committed the program to doing annual improvements on the field with the program’s fundraising money to help bring the field up to college standards and eventually become the best natural playing surface in the conference.
From 2008 to 2012, the field went through a resurfacing facelift that completely changed the field of play. There were also updates made each year to the overall complex that complimented the resurfacing project. Listed below are the 4 Phases of the resurfacing, subsequent projects/improvements and the academic year they took place.
Phase 1 – 2008-09
The former infield dirt, a red shale clay, was removed and replaced with “Oklahoma Clay and Lite Weight” infield conditioner leaving a surface that was much smoother to play on and more resistant to rain outs.
The pitcher’s mound was removed and reconstructed using professional mound clay. Additionally, the home plate circle was dugout and replaced with professional clay bricks and top dressing to provide a long lasting flat, firm surface to play on that would resist foot holes.
Phase 2 – 2009-10
The outfield was laser graded and an athletic turf-type fescue was planted.
A warning track was extended around the entire playing field.
The complex was painted black – a change from its original “baseball green”.
Phase 3 – 2010-11
The foul territory portion of the “apron” (infield grass portion of the field) was removed, laser graded for professional leveling and water drainage, then sodded with Bermuda grass from the same sod farm as the Springfield, MO Cardinals (AA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals).
A stone wall was built down the right field line that has a veneer stone (provided by Bandera Stone Company) facing giving the wall and field a unique look.
The scoreboard was maroon – a change from its original “baseball green”.
Phase 4 – 2011-12
The final phase of the resurfacing project was completed with the fair territory portion of the “apron” being removed, laser graded for professional leveling and water drainage, then sodded with Bermuda grass from the same sod farm as the Springfield, MO Cardinals (AA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals).
Construction of padded poles in front of each dugout to provide added safety for players.
Extension of the backstop from behind home plate to both dugouts.
Webcam installment on top of the press box so all Fall scrimmages and Spring games are for Live and archived for future viewing.
Drainage system was installed under the dirt portion of the infield to assist with water drainage.
Dugout renovation and replacement of new infrastructure including graphic logo signage.
125 Tons of infield dirt was added.
The infield drainage system capacity was doubled to handle even more rain.
Laser graded and resurfaced the outfield with Bermuda grass.
Completed veneer stone (courtesy of Bandera Stone Company) addition to the left field stone fence.
Purchased a John Deere 3-wheeler infield groomer
Purchased an outfield striping reel-mower
Replaced the Backstop Netting System
Added 10 Flag Poles & Pennants for the conference and the 10 team East Division Schools in LF
Built a new Storage Building down the LF line between the 3B dugout and the LF Bullpen
Poured concrete seating section by the 1B Dugout for ADA seating
New Scoreboard & State of the Art Sound System
New Bleacher sections behind home plate that are elevated and contain 88 individual chair back seats as well as shaded canopy covers
Listed below are the tentative plans for future improvements to Lions Field:
9 more Flag Poles and Pennants representing the 9 team West Division to be placed in RF
Replacing the OF fence from foul pole to foul pole
Hitting Pavilions down both foul lines
Moving both bullpens off the field of play
Stone Pillars on each side of the scoreboard
Installing turf on the infield portion of the field
Dugout/Concession Stand/Storage Building Graphics
Light Pole Flags
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