Warriors break in renovated Russ Carr Field

For Westmont Baseball, the best present of the holiday season was an opportunity to practice on the newly renovated Russ Carr Field for the first time on Monday. Work began on the new field in early May of 2009 and since then the team has practiced on the Abbott Tennis Courts and shared Lovik Field with the men’s and women’s soccer teams and the cross country teams.

Features of the new facility include two large dugouts, a state of the art drainage structure, two batting cages, a three-man and a two-man bullpen, a 35-feet high batters eye and a mesh backstop.

Westmont’s baseball team practiced on the newly renovated Russ Carr Field for the first time on Monday.

“Our guys have worked hard all fall to prepare for this day,” said first year head coach Robert Ruiz. “It is a special day for the group, for the program and the alumni. It is a beautiful facility and we could not have asked for anything better. The natural grass infield is perfectly flat and we are getting true hops. The threeman bullpen in left field allowed us to get six bullpen (sessions) in a third of the time it took us this fall off a portable mound. We are excited about everything and feel appreciative.”

“It feels great,” said junior infielder Jordan Bottenfield about practicing in the new facility, “especially for me after being here for two years. The field is great and the scenery around it is great too. It feels very professional out here.”

The first scheduled event on the new field is an alumni game on Saturday, January 23. The 2010 season opening day will be the following Saturday, January 30, when the Warriors welcome Pomona- Pitzer for a doubleheader beginning at 11:00 a.m. Dr. Gayle Beebe, Westmont president and a former collegiate baseball player, is scheduled to throw out the first pitch.

“I’m optimistic about our team,” said Ruiz. “We have a long way to go but it is good to see our guys working hard out here. Batting practice went well and our defense was productive and efficient. Guys are moving around getting dirty – all the things you want to see on the first day of practice. We have a lot of things to get done in the next three weeks but I feel really good about day one.”

“We have great Christian leadership at the top and some 35 guys that are binding to the process,” said Bottenfield. “If we are scrappy, we are going to compete. That is the mindset we have around here right now.”

“I feel really good about the team,” said junior transfer Coby Cress. “This is my first year here. We have a lot of great players who have come in to fill spots. We have a lot of potential. How hard we work and how we play, we will find out shortly.”