New Delta College baseball field nears completion

The view from home plate in Delta’s new diamond as construction workers finish the new west parking lot. University Center, April 22, 2019. (Rebecca Roberts/Photo Editor)

By Joe Thornton, editor-in-chief.
Additional reporting by Zach Parfeniuk

UNIVERSITY CENTER — As Delta’s baseball players and coaches compete this season, they continue to make the trek to Wickes Park in Saginaw for practice and games, as they have for every season up until now. Finally, the team will be provided with a new stadium on main campus, directly adjacent to the softball field.

As the project nears completion, project manager Rick Sella from Serenus Johnson Construction feels proud of the progress that his team has made and the hurdles they’ve overcome.

“It’s been a challenge,” Sella said. “We started almost a year ago, and the weather just has not cooperated very well. We had a very wet fall, a very cold winter and another very wet spring.”

Though weather was the largest obstacle for Sella and his team, another obstacle was consulting those involved with the baseball program to make sure their voice was heard.

“Another challenge has been making sure that we’re getting input from everybody that wants this done. Obviously the baseball team and the coach had some things they wanted.” Sella said.

Sella has a personal stake in the completion of the new field, as his son is currently a sophomore and plays third base for the Pioneers. Though Delta’s baseball team won’t be able to use the field this year, head baseball coach Danny Smith felt that one of the biggest gains from the field going forward would be the added utility for the team.

“We weren’t able to play on it this year, but once we are able to actually practice or play on it, I expect it’ll be a huge relief,” Smith said. “It’s been so difficult the last eight years to have to change our clothes in the parking lot and haul gear back and forth 10 miles every day from Delta and to not have water or a restroom or storage.”

Smith also thought that for new recruits deciding on what college or university to attend, the new field will certainly be an added bonus for Delta College’s athletics division, as having a field that Delta can call home will make the entire baseball program more enticing.

“There are some changes we will have to make to the new field initially, but I expect by the end of fall it’ll have the look and feel of a top-notch baseball field,” Smith said. “The fact that we’re on campus and in the middle of everything is the most exciting aspect of all, we have a place to call our own.”

The field is only the first in a series of construction projects that Delta officials are planning in order to renovate the west campus grounds. Director of Facilities Nick Bovid detailed the ideas that are in store for the future.

“This project is part of a larger project called the West Campus Master Plan,” Bovid said. “We’re talking right now about doing an observatory on top of the hill, as part of that we’ll have some walking trails that go around here. We are hoping to get scoreboards out here for the baseball field and the softball and soccer teams as well.”

With the field nearing completion, students are sure to enjoy being able to watch baseball games from campus in the great outdoors.

“On game days, between classes, students can hopefully come out and watch them,” Sella said. “The athletes for practice can go straight from school to here.”

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