STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — After the Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees recently approved spending up to $300,000 on improvements to the high school’s baseball field, crews went to work upgrading the drainage system, replacing dirt and top soil, and transforming the infield into all grass.
“Signs point to it being done by the start of the baseball season,” said MFISD interim athletics director Mike Birdwell. The season starts in February.
The need for the upgrades, officials said, stem from a 2007 storm that dropped about 20 inches on the Marble Falls area within hours. The heavy rainfall damaged parts of the field because of poor drainage. The plan is to improve the drainage in the infield and outfield areas.
“Looking at the field (now), the rain sits on top of the field,” Birdwell said.
Crews will raise Scearce Baseball Field’s infield 6 inches, starting just behind the pitcher’s mound. Closer to home plate, the field will be lowered to aid in runoff. In the outfield, crews will create tiny slopes to also allow water to drain.
The plan calls for installing drains and pipes on the home and visitor dugouts to facilitate drainage, taking water off and away from the field and batting cages.
Grass will replace the dirt areas of the infield. Crews will also resod the outfield once they add 2-3 inches of new topsoil.
The facility will receive a new sprinkler system that will replace the original one, which has been there since 1992.
Birdwell credited new head basesball coach Russell Reichenbach for his input.
“With him being here less than a month, he’s getting his hands dirty,” the athletics director said. “I think that speaks volumes to his leadership.”