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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Recent winter storms cause delays in baseball field renovations

Beverly Xu
As the construction approaches completion, a large layer of turf is placed on the field.

Starting last June, workers began digging up the baseball field to begin the process of installing a new turf surface, adding landscaping and making other improvements such as bigger dugouts and bullpen areas. According to assistant principal Brian Thompson, the renovations were initially estimated to be completed by Dec. 30; however, the delayed delivery of materials, coupled with recent rainy weather, flooding and drainage concerns, has led contractors to push the completion date back to Feb. 20. 

After the contractors finish the field and turn it back over to the school, the athletic booster plans to implement additional changes, including installing a new scoreboard in late April, painting school logos on the dugouts and creating an entrance to the baseball stadium within the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) accessibility guidelines, Thompson said. In total, all the renovations will cost over $4 million. It was funded by the 2014 Measure E Bond, a general obligation bond of $99 million to fund new school infrastructure and resources at both schools in the district.

In the meantime, the Falcon baseball teams will run early February pre-season practices at Los Gatos. 

Once the refurbishments are complete, the baseball teams will have to adapt to having turf instead of grass on the field surrounding the baseball diamond. For sophomore pitcher and outfielder Aiden Chen, the new turf presents benefits for both offensive and defensive plays. 

“From an offensive standpoint, the ball rolls faster and farther on turf, so even if I don’t hit it hard, it might squeak through for a hit, whereas grass could slow it down,” Chen said.

Pitching-wise, despite the ball moving faster on the turf, Chen points out that there will not be any “bad hops” from the bumps in natural grass or dirt. More than anything, Chen looks forward to the new field features that the renovations will introduce. Rainouts also become much rarer with a turf field.

“I’m super excited for the new dugouts because last year they were way too small,” he said. “The bullpens will also be a lot nicer, so I’m excited for that.”

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