Baseball players can only see light shining from the softball field for now but they will have the chance to shine their own lights as part of the “Lighting Up the Lancers” campaign at California Baptist University.
The three-phase campaign has raised 65 percent of the funds needed to light up the aquatics center, which is phase two of the athletic facility illumination process.
“The scoreboard is already moving forward,” Christina Gordon, development officer for institutional advancement, said. “It will be installed late October and we’re hoping for the lighting to be done by summer.”
Over half of the money needed to fund the aquatics facility upgrade has been raised, which started upon completion of the softball field lights.
Senior swimmer Gina Rhue said that the lights will put more fans in the stands while creating a better atmosphere for CBU swimmers.
“For morning practice and night practice our swim hours [will] have more flexibility. In the mornings we literally practice in pitch black. The only lights are under water,” Rhue said.
CBU women’s swimming took home the NAIA national trophy last season before leaving for NCAA Division II but Rhue noticed that the schools with lights seemed to put more fans in the stands.
“They always seemed to have bigger crowds just because of the whole setting,” Rhue said.
Upon completion of the $171,000 Aquatics Excellence Campaign, phase three will begin with lights for Totman Stadium, the home of Lancers baseball.
The projected cost for baseball lights is $375,000 but outfielder Zach Esquerra says that it is well worth the money.
“We don’t get as many fans during the daytime because they have class or it’s hot or they have something to do during the daytime that prohibits them from coming to our game,” Esquerra said. “I think if we had lights, that would give more people the opportunity to support us.”
Baseball practices and games typically start early in the afternoon during the week, forcing players to schedule their classes earlier on in the day, which can be difficult for some.
“There are some classes that we can’t take because they’re only offered from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. I think if we had lights and we were able to practice at night that will free up our schedule as well,” Esquerra said.
A memorial fund for baseball field lights was started in memory of Bob Adcock, father of Lancers head coach Gary Adcock and brother Joe Adcock, Assistant Dean of Students.
Bob Adcock was a big fan of Lancer baseball and spent lots of time at Totman Stadium.
“Two things that my dad loved more than anything at Cal Baptist was the choir and baseball,” Joe Adcock said. “He lived at that field, so how cool would it be every time those lights come on to remember my dad.“
The idea for a memorial fund came from Mrs. Adcock, who attended games with her husband, who recently lost his eight-year battle with cancer.
“It was my mom’s idea trying to think something we could do to remember my dad,” Adcock said. “My dad was such a light in people’s lives. It just seemed symbolic and a fantastic thing.”
The baseball lighting campaign will begin upon completion of phase two, which is projected to finish in summer 2012.