Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Pitt Field Renovation
In 1975, the University of Richmond Spiders baseball team walked onto Pitt Field for the first time. Since that opening pitch, the NCAA Division I team has realized four conference championships and produced eight Major League Baseball players who have played for teams like the Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres, and Boston Red Sox. A stadium with capacity for 600 people, Pitt Field houses the team well, but forty years later, a few improvements were much needed.
Due to the existing field’s poor drainage capabilities, practices and games were rained out, an issue which needed to be addressed in any updates. In winter 2015, Draper Aden Associates, spearheaded by Charlie Kreye, PE (DAA-Richmond) and Justin Cornwell, PG (DAA-Richmond), designed a brand new artificial turf system with accompanying drainage updates. Dubbed the “most drastic renovations since opening in March 1975,” DAA installed a drainage stone base under the new Diamond Series AstroTurf, a state-of-the-art realistic AstroTurf that closely matches grass fields in terms of ball bounce and playability.
The new turf features a 90-foot red Spider logo in the center of the filed, as well as the team’s logo behind home plate. Additionally, all of the bullpens, dugouts, and batting cages were fitted with this new turf. Under another contractor, a new padded fence and foul poles were installed along the perimeter. As Richmond head coach Tracy Woodson said, “Just seeing the guys come out here and walk the field for the first time and seeing their reactions, you can really tell how great the renovations look.”
Even better, the Spiders issued a decisive victory against Cornell during that first home game on March 31—a whopping 27 runs to Cornell’s 7.