YORK TWP. — Moving day is finally here for the Buckeye baseball team.
When the Bucks host Brooklyn this afternoon, they will do so on the new field located next to the Thiele-Pierce Track and Soccer Complex. There will be an opening ceremony beginning at 4:15 p.m. that will include community members, school administration and a performance by the marching band.
“We’re super excited. We’re halfway through the season and have been waiting (to get on the new field),” Buckeye coach Mike Wolf said. “It’s a beautiful facility, and the weather forecast is 70 degrees and sunny, so it looks like everything is going to work out.”
Wolf said the Bucks have had the chance to practice on the field a few times, building the anticipation.
“It’s exciting for us and for the whole community,” senior outfielder Adam Matras said. “We watched the whole thing being built, knew it was coming, and it’s nice to finally have a field like that.”
Building the new field made sense for Buckeye, whose current field was in need of maintenance and improvements. James H. Tighe Field is essentially the same plot of land the baseball team has used since the current junior high school opened as the high school in the 1950s.
It also brings the baseball field closer to the other outdoor sports venues, which allowed Buckeye to offer greater amenities to teams and spectators with access to locker rooms, a concession stand and restrooms.
“Our current field was in need of some major renovation to the fencing, dugouts, drainage and the grass edges along the dirt portion of the infield,” Superintendent Kent Morgan said. “When looking at the total cost to renovate versus building new and providing locker rooms, restrooms and a concession stand, it made sense to move the field back (to the new complex) and build new.”
The construction of the new field has cost $249,739, with the Booster Club raising $35,000 worth of contributions and donations. Along with the new baseball field, bullpens, backstop fencing and a warning track were added to the softball field as a part of the project.
More than a dozen community sponsors also contributed.
“Thank you to the administration and board of education for the vision and willingness to initiate this project,” Buckeye athletic director Tom Harrington said in a press release. “We are all excited for the opportunity for our student-athletes and coaches to compete in a first-class facility.”
The new field will be the first time the Bucks have played their home games somewhere other than the intersection of Columbia and Wolff roads.
When the school was originally constructed in the late 1950s, the backstop was placed at the intersection. In the 1960s, the orientation of the field was flipped to its current layout, and in the 1980s the field added a grass infield and was renamed James W. Tighe Field.
Buckeye was 4-1 and outscored opponents 37-14 at Tighe Field this season.