Oklahoma Christian University’s Dobson Baseball Field has undergone changes since December 2021 when the long-awaited turf infield project broke ground. Despite construction delays throughout winter due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances, the Eagles played and won their first game on the new turf infield on Feb. 27, 2022.
The project was made possible by fundraising within the program as well as University donors.
After waiting years for the upgrade, players and coaches are excited for the project to be done. Senior Grant Lake was told during his recruiting period four years ago about the goal to get artificial turf.
“Coach has been talking about this for a long time and to see it done is surreal,” Lake said.
Head coach Lonny Cobble said he is thrilled the project finally came to fruition.
“We have been working on this for a long time and getting it done is a major upgrade for our entire program,” Cobble said.
The artificial turf is an improvement from the dirt and grass infield. The turf requires little to no maintenance, offers a better surface to play on and looks more appealing. According to infielder Kevin Collyar, the dirt supplied a lot of bad hops and was difficult to play on; the new turf limits these bad hops and plays more true.
“The ground balls are so true and actually stay down. We used to get really bad hops on grounders all the time,” Collyar said. “The new turf is a major change both in looks and play.”
In addition to the new artificial turf, Dobson Field is receiving a new $100,000 video board to replace the current scoreboard behind the left field fence.
“The turf with the scoreboard is going to transform this place and has been my vision for a long time,” Cobble said. “The changes are not only going to look nice, but take our program to the next level.”
No date is set for the new video board, but it is expected to be installed within a couple of weeks.
Lake said these upgrades to the field are what the program was missing since he has been here.
“It is all coming to fruition,” Lake said. “We have a great indoor facility and we are about to have a great place to play games as well.”
The upgrades will also contribute to recruiting, since an appealing facility will help the school draw in better players. Collyar said Dobson Field now holds an advantage.
“It is becoming one of the better Division II facilities out there,” Collyar said. “It’s really exciting to see what it does for us in the future.”
The Eagles have a promising roster for the 2022 season, and with the new upgrades to their facilities, the future is looking bright.
“(The field) is what we have been missing,” Lake said. “We really are about to take another step forward.”