After years of struggling on the field Hilbert Athletics officials are hoping that new fields being built as part of a deal with a developer will help them build success in the baseball and softball programs.
Both teams have not had much success for the last decade: below .500 records, no real playoff success and have not had a good reputation for building a winning culture. Now athletics department officials say the new fields are a good first step to turning things around.
Last May, the college reached a deal to have contractors build a new baseball and softball complex right on campus behind trinity hall. A developer stepped in and purchased the land where the baseball and softball fields are in order to build on the front half of the land. In exchange the developer is building new baseball and softball fields for the college.
The hope is that the new fields will help the programs regain a winning culture and start obtaining some success on the fields, which are supposed to be ready sometime in December, making the complex ready for conference play next spring.
Head Baseball Coach Drew Fittry said the new fields are a huge stepping stone in getting athletics to the next level at Hilbert College.
“Ultimately we have struggled to play games on campus in recent years and with the field we want to show the players that they have support,” Fittry said. “Hopefully this will create a home field advantage and a sense of comradery “.
Last year, the baseball team only played two home games and they had to drive 45 minutes to Niagara University for home games, eliminating home field advantage.
“A new field will also help for player development, being able to get out on a field and get daily work in whether coaches are there or not,” Fittry said.
The new field will also show the support the athletic department has in the baseball and softball programs, hge added.
“Our big thing here is trying to increase enrollment, especially in athletics and when you have a nice facility to show a recruit it definitely helps,” Fittry said.
Freshmen baseball player Colin Windle said the players are looking forward to using the new fields next semester.
“The whole team is extremely excited for the new fields as well, and this is adding to the anticipation surrounding the upcoming year,” Windle said. “A new field signifies a fresh start for Hawks baseball and softball and will allow to us get better every single day as we can be on it and utilize it to our advantage.”