New fencing, a warning track and lighting are all part of significant upgrades to Jaycees Field for the 2013 season.
Feb. 4, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - With baseball season less than two weeks away, the Stephen F. Austin Athletics Department is putting the finishing touches on significant upgrades to Jaycees Field, including the addition of lights which will allow for night games to be played beginning this season.
Thanks to a lead financial gift from Joe Max and Jane Green of Nacogdoches and another anonymous donor the lighting project will soon be a reality. White Electric of Nacogdoches will be responsible for installing the system.
"We are so grateful to these special friends of the baseball program who saw the need for lights and what we could accomplish and they were willing to step up to the plate to help, said Robert Hill, Director of Athletics, "their willingness to help shows how far our baseball program has come."
With the installation of lighting at Jaycees Field, the Lumberjacks will have the ability to play night games at Jaycees Field for the first time since bringing the program back in 2006. The last night games played at Jaycees Field were in 1995, the final year of the program.
SFA will play one midweek day game, against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 27, before moving all games played between Monday at Friday to 6:30p.m. The first night game of the year at Jaycees Field will be the series opener against Arlington Baptist on March 8.
Some of the benefits of lighting the field include the student-athletes missing less class time, as well as a larger crowd generated from later start times. It will also make SFA a more attractive destination for non-conference opponents, as well as opens SFA up for the possibility of hosting the Southland Conference Tournament.
The addition of lighting is not the only upgrade as workers have replaced the old outfield fence with a solid aluminum fence which was moved in 10 feet, as well as a 10-foot wide warning track that stretches from foul pole to foul pole.
Since 2009 SFA has made significant improvements to the Jaycees Field facility, most notably adding a seating system behind home plate that includes reserved and covered seats for patrons. A new playing surface was added to the infield during the 2010 season, as well as a team dressing facility before the 2008 season.