Edmond, OK (December 5, 2017) –
Each year as baseball season begins at University of Central Oklahoma, so begins the scheduling nightmare. The constant battle with field conditions and the repeated scheduling and rescheduling of baseball games and cancellations of practice due to weather and field conditions will soon be a distant memory. The University has decided to switch Wendell Simmons Field from natural grass to Matrix? Turf with Helix Technology by Hellas Construction.
The Bronchos baseball team had a great season this year, missing the opportunity to play in the World Series by only one game. UCO Bronchos Head Coach John Martin said, “We play 20-25 games each season on our home field and miss an average of 15 days of practice and games each season because of the field conditions.”
The team has traveled throughout the Midwest, playing a variety of surfaces, including various types of synthetic turf. “We were one of the few that didn’t have artificial turf. The players are used to playing on turf when we travel and they like it,” Martin said. Most of the fields just have the infield covered in turf. “We will be one of the few to have a whole baseball field of turf,” Martin said.
Coach Martin was excited Hellas Construction and their Matrix Turf with Helix Technology was in the running for the baseball facility. “It was my favorite turf we played on,” Martin said. They had played at Broken Arrow where Hellas previously installed its turf on baseball, softball, and football fields. “It was just different, I liked the way it felt and played,” Martin said.
Martin said Hellas was also selected because they can do more than just the turf. “They can do the construction part, like building the outfield wall and bullpen. They can do it all,” Martin said. Hellas will also be adding turf to the batting cages, bunting areas, and existing bullpen.
The university had a private donation that made funding the renovation to Matrix Turf possible. “The donation came at a great time and we are very thankful for it,” Martin said. “This will have a great impact on the players and the team as a whole, making us more efficient and able to do more every day.”
“The players are very excited about it,” Martin said. It will be nice to be able to practice whether it rains an hour or a half an hour,” he said. “This will help with everyday operations and not missing valuable practices,” Martin said. “This is going to give our players the chance to develop and get better.”
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