Monday, March 31, 2014

The Prairie Stars have landed their own baseball field

Not a lot had changed as far as progress toward the construction of a baseball field at the University of Illinois Springfield from the time Barry Arnett and Adam Unes arrived on campus in August of 2010 to the time Chris Ramirez came to Springfield to interview for the vacant baseball coaching job in June of 2013.

“I took a couple pictures,” Ramirez, the Prairie Stars' first-year head coach said. “There was a backstop. There was fencing. That was it. It was a shell, no dugouts . . . ”

Saturday afternoon UIS conducted opening ceremonies at its on-campus baseball field. The Prairie Stars have had a couple of trial runs — a Great Lakes Valley Conference game with Missouri Science and Technology and a mid-week doubleheader with Robert Morris — but Saturday everything became official.

There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included Chancellor Susan Koch and her husband Dennis as well as athletic director Kim Pate. Colten Knoedler, the 6-year-old grandson of Bank of Springfield chairman Tom Marantz, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Bank of Springfield made a $60,000 donation to UIS that helped fund the construction of the baseball field.

The opening was featured by The State Journal-Register on March 30, 2014.

Read the article online