You could say that practice has been made perfect with the addition of the new indoor practice facility at Wichita State University. Normally this time of year the baseball team would be fighting the frigid Kansas winters in order to get some practice time in. However, times have changed and practice has warmed up.
With this newly found comfort the team has been able to get a jump start on the new season. Senior outfielder Ryan Jones said the team was able to practice for 3 hours as opposed to the normal 1 hour first practice. The facility has a complete turf infield to match that of the game field. It also houses a brand new locker room for the home team. They will be switching to the third base dugout for using the new locker room. The walls are draped with banners of past championships. Along with a wall dedicated to Shocker All-Americans.
This was only a part of the off season renovations. The Shockers also got a brand new game field for Eck Stadium. AstroTurf now covers the entire field leaving the only actual dirt around the pitching mound. Watching the team play on it during fall ball was a sight to see. It plays very fast, as some players were sliding past the base’s on steal attempts. This could make things interesting for the opposing team. The massive Wu Shock logo in center field should be enough of a distraction.
All these renovations wouldn’t be possible without the support of all the fans. This is something that WSU Baseball can be proud of for years to come. If anything it should really help recruiting according to Shocker pitching coach Brent Kemnitz. No longer will he have to ask the recruits if they like to take fly balls in 20 degree weather with a slight 30 mile an hour wind during practice. The Shockers open the season Feb. 23 against their state rival Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence.