FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
“The renovation of our baseball facility is another tremendous step for our athletics department,” Fiore said. “The Stony Brook baseball program has consistently been one of the finest in the Northeast region, and it will now have a home that will be reflective of all its success.”
The project is expected to include a brand new FieldTurf surface, similar to Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, new dugouts, new bullpens and new fences. The dimensions of the field will change as the left and right field lines will be moved back from 320 feet to 330 feet with an 8-foot fence, and center field will be moved in from 410 feet to 390 feet with a 16-foot fence to serve as the batter’s eye. The bullpens will be out of play, with the visiting bullpen down the left field line and the home bullpen behind the right field fence.
The Department of Athletics is also actively fundraising a second phase of renovations, which would include a new scoreboard, lights, stadium seating and a press box. Stony Brook alumni and supporters are encouraged to contact the external services department at (631) 632-6312 if they are interested in contributing to the project.
Joe Nathan Field is named in honor of former Seawolves and current Minnesota Twins pitcher Joe Nathan ’97, a four-time Major League Baseball All-Star who is 30th all-time in MLB history in saves with 247. Nathan contributed the lead gift for the facility project through the Joe Nathan Charitable Foundation.
Since its ascent to Division I status in 2002, the Stony Brook baseball program, under 21-year head coach Matt Senk, has been extremely successful. The Seawolves have won three America East Conference championships (2004, 2008, 2010) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of those seasons, knocking North Carolina State out of the tournament in 2010 for its first-ever postseason victory.
“This is an exciting moment for our program,” Senk said. “Joe Nathan Field is a facility that our players, alumni, fans and the entire university community can be extremely proud of. Opening day can’t come soon enough.”
Stony Brook is scheduled to play its first game at Joe Nathan Field on March 9, 2011 against Fairleigh Dickinson. The full 2011 Seawolves schedule will be available online in the coming days.