LU to host 2016 conference baseball tournament

LU+to+host+2016+conference+baseball+tournament

LouBrockStadiumLL
The baseball field in the Lou Brock Sports Complex includes a artificial turf baseball field, along with seating for 700 spectators.

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.

“It will also be an opportunity for Lindenwood University to show off our beautiful campus and the historic downtown St. Charles.”

-John Creer”

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.”

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Stands
The bleacher style seating at Lindenwood’s baseball field sits behind home plate and follows the first and third base line.

The tournament will be the first the Lions’ baseball facility has hosted since joining the NCAA.In the past, several NAIA regional tournaments took place at LU, along with the opening round of the 2009 NAIA National Championship.

The sports complex is named after St. Louis Cardinals Hall-of-Fame outfielder, Lou Brock who helped lead the team to World Championships in both 1964 and 1967, as well as another World Series appearance in 1968. At the time of his retirement, Brock held the record for the most career steals with a total of 938.

Built in 2005, the facility houses both a baseball and softball field, along with a concession area and bathrooms located between the fields. The baseball stadium itself has a capacity of 700, featuring bleacher-style seating behind home plate and along the first and third base lines.

The tournament will take place May 12-15 and will include the top eight of the conference’s 14 teams.[/su_expand]