Crutcher Scott Field, home of the ACU baseball team, will have Astroturf covering the entire field for the 2016 season.
The change to turf offers several advantages for the Wildcats, primarily, a field that does not require maintenance in the dry environment of West Texas.
“With Astroturf, there is no field maintenance or stress about how the field will be during the summer or when we experience droughts,” head coach Britt Bonneau said. “It’s really hard trying to manage a grass field in the environment that we are in. This way, if it rains, we don’t have to put a tarp on the field, we can get back out there and play, or if we’re in a drought, we don’t have to constantly be out here saving the grass.”
The move to Astroturf also provides a huge selling point for ACU baseball in recruiting, with players typically enjoy playing on turf, rather than natural grass.
“Guys don’t want to play nine-inning games and then have to go out there and work on the field,” Bonneau said. “It gives us a big recruiting tool when talking to recruits. It also allows us to stay up to date with the conference. Several teams in the Southland are upgrading. This keeps us on the same playing field with our competition.”
It will take approximately eight weeks to fully replace the field with turf and is expected to be completed by the first week of classes in the spring semester. The renovations will also include a new outfield fence.
Over the last two months, the athletic department had been in talks of renovating the Crutch, who enters its 25th year of existence. The issues of maintaining the field over the past few years only increased and a need for change became apparent.
According to Athletic Director Lee De León’s monthly newsletter, De León Point, the fundraising for the project was fulfilled, especially after a family from Dallas donated $500,000 to the venture.
“We are very fortunate to get to be associated with such a great university that allows so many opportunities for us,” Bonneau said. “We’ve had the vision for this for a while; it’s great to finally have this in the works and to see it coming together.”