By Carmine Vetrano
The CCSU baseball team is looking for new memories to be made on their brand new baseball field. The freshly renovated Balf Savin Baseball Field is the new home of CCSU baseball.
If fans were looking for the baseball team last season, they were playing at New Britain high school at the historic Beehive Stadium. The Blue Devils, who had to drive to their home games, could not experience the feeling of having home field advantage. However, the team is hoping all that turns around by playing at the brand new field this spring.
Without waiting until Spring 2010 to break in the new field, the baseball players have already begun with fall ball workouts. Even though the outside of the stadium is still surrounded by dirt and concrete, CCSU ball players are piling onto the turf to get early practices in.
“Guys are excited, we are very excited as a whole program,” Assistant Coach Pat Hall said. “It is exciting to get out here. The weather has rained but we’re allowed to come and get to practice right away.”
Some of the advantages of having a turf field, which is green on the infield but red on the warning tracks and everywhere else, is the less time needed for field maintenance.
“Last year we lost seven to eight games because of rain,” Hall explained. “We could have got in those games with turf. Natural fields need an extra 30 to 40 minutes of prep to get ready for practice and so forth.”
With the new field in CCSU’s back yard the Blue Devils can come to workout whenever they want. They do not have to drive to Newington High School to get in practices, where they traveled to last season.
Senior outfielder Richie Tri is extremely happy about the availability the field offers the team, even though it is not completely finished.
“We can get a lot more work done here and its helpful because we can come out here whenever we want and just get stuff done with out the coaches,” Tri said.
And as for the home games, senior outfield Kyle Zarotney enjoys the anticipation of having a home crowd.
“Its awesome, especially now when people don’t need to get directions to our games,” Zarotney joked. “ [The field] is walking distance and we hope to get bigger crowds this year. We haven’t had a home crowd in 2 years.”
Zarotney, who spent his summer on Long Island playing for the Sag Harbor Whalers of the ACBL where he was an All-Star, likes the how fall ball is going so far.
“We have a lot of returning kids but the freshmen here are already exceeding our expectations,” Zarotney said. “ The pitching staff has done great so far this fall. All the young guys are doing good.”
The Blue Devils saw there season end in heart-breaking fashion last year, as they dropped a nail biter to top-seeded Wagner College by a score of 6-5 in extra innings. CCSU had a 5-2 lead thanks to the bat of then senior catcher Sean Parker, who had a pair of home runs.
However, Coach Hall is excited about the mix of the veteran and new players after seeing some fall practices.
“We need to get the younger guys up to speed, up to game speed,” Hall said. “The younger guys have ability to step in and will help us continue to get better. The junior college guys should help and be impact players right away. But the vets we have back along with hard work and preparation, we should have successful year.”
Coach Hall is calling this field, which is 400 feet dead center, one of the top fields in the Northeast and is hoping it will serve as a recruiting tool for influencing future players.
As fall turns into winter in the coming months, the CCSU baseball team will continue to take advantage of their new home field in preparation for the 2010 season.