NGU athletics latest project: baseball facilities

Sydney Taylor, Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of NGU student Brenis Napoli (Junior)

Photo courtesy of NGU student Brenis Napoli (Junior)

It’s no secret NGU athletics has been on the rise to better their sports facilities.

In the past five years alone, there have been fields built or restored to become some of the best facilities in the conference. The newest addition was the baseball field. Phase one of the project included a complete reworking of the playing surface of Ashmore Field, which was expected to cost $1.2 million. Funded by private donations, the first phase was the installation of artificial turf with a dirt mound, new outfield fencing, backstop fencing, a scoreboard, a bullpen and batting cages.

The field was reconstructed from a grass field to a Sports Turf performance space with the only dirt areas being the pitcher's mound. It was to be dedicated under the name of its new champion donors. North Greenville has worked with donors and contractors constantly over the past four years to improve the facilities our athletes play on and now they have moved in on our baseball program.

Bea Dillard and an anonymous donor were the largest contributors to begin the project. The new turf was then named Ray Dillard Field, in memory of Dillard’s husband, who played baseball for the city of Spartanburg for many years.

“We’re bringing a similar concept to what the City of Greenville used for the Greenville Drive Park in downtown Greenville’s west end,” Micah Sepko, Assistant Athletic Director, told the Greenville journal, “We hope athletics will become the central hub for all student life activities.”

The progress of the actual baseball field has been completed the plans for the stands and new building are still up in the air. Even with the changes that were made, the field has moved up into the top 25 best fields coming from being one of the last before the remodeling.

The turf saves so much time from having the scrape the dirt and put out the huge tarp to save the dirt from rain. The grass no longer has to be cut and delays are less likely to happen on the new turf field. In the long run the turf field for baseball as well as softball has made maintenance much simpler and the grounds crew’s job a little less stressful.