Phil Brahm | Lindenlink Managing Editor
September 2, 2015; 9:30 a.m.
Lindenwood University was named the official host of the 2016 MIAA conference baseball tournament.
“We are excited about hosting the 2016 MIAA Baseball Tournament,” said LU Athletic Director John Creer, according to the athletics website. “I think this will be a big boost for our baseball program and the St. Charles community.[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”D1E047″ class=”” size=””]“It will also be an opportunity for Lindenwood University to show off our beautiful campus and the historic downtown St. Charles.”
In a statement released by the MIAA, Commissioner Bob Boerigter explained why the conference elected to hold the tournament at LU, as opposed to neutral sites where the games were held previously.
“Our coaches have requested that our post-season tournament return to campus sites and that the tournament be played in the format adopted,” said Boerigter. “Their quality facilities should provide a significant venue for the MIAA to conduct this competitive and exciting championship.”
Along with bringing recognition to LU, the Lions head baseball coach Doug Bletcher is viewing the announcement as incentive for his team as they begin to prepare for the upcoming season.
“It would hurt to be in a position where we are not playing in the tournament that is being hosted at our school,” Bletcher said. “It will be a driving force and give us a sense of urgency all season long.”
While the Lions fell to Emporia State in the first round of last year’s tournament, which was held at a neutral site, Bletcher explained how playing at home would add a special dynamic to postseason play.
“Anytime you have home-field there is a sense of comfort,” Bletcher said. “There are little things you don’t have to worry about when; the players know everything about the field.
“They are playing in front of their own backstop with their fans cheering them on.”