With springtime right around the corner the Sonoma State baseball team is preparing to get its season underway.
Headed by long-time coach John Goelz, the team has become very familiar with success, and has been nationally ranked 23 out of 28 total seasons under Goelz. With having such a prosperous baseball team, there is always a high demand for performance-enhancing resources such as equipment and facilities for the team to be able to use in order to prepare for the coming season.
In the fall of 2011, the SSU baseball program was the recipient of a $1.3 million donation given by one of its former volunteer coaches Gordon Smith. Smith, who passed away of cancer in June earlier that year, was looking for a way to give back to the program by putting it in the right direction by bettering its facilities. The initial donation was to go towards providing stadium lights, more seating around the field for spectators as well as the possibility of converting the field into all turf.
Apart from these renovations, the program will also acquire a brand new facility that will be located right next to the field. The facility, which has currently been in construction since the beginning of 2013, is to include a locker room as well as clubhouse for players, four indoor batting cages, media rooms that will be equipped with high speed cameras to review game film and will provide office space for the coaching staff. Goelz estimated the facility to be completed no later than the start of the fall 2014 semester to welcome in the new season.
With roughly 500 people in attendance at each home game last season, the baseball program realized how seating can impact the games. Because the old field had far less than 500 seats available, students and other spectators have had to compromise while watching the game by either bringing a lawn chair to sit in or face the undesirable fate of standing through the entire game.
“If there was more available seating at the field, it would be much more inviting to go spend an afternoon watching a baseball game. That way, more groups of friends would be encouraged to attend the game not just for the sport, but also as finding entertainment on campus,” said third-year student Jonathan Wright, an avid baseball fan.
First-year student Amanda Jimenez, who does not pride herself as being a big baseball fan, also agreed with the idea that more seating would boost the attendance of students at games.
“I’m not even a very big baseball fan but I know if more seats were made around the field than certainly more students would go just for something to do.”
As the season begins to progress, we will soon start to see evidence of the many renovations that are being done to Seawolf Diamond and look forward to its eventual completion in the future.