PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Gulf Coast athletic department has begun fundraising for an indoor hitting facility for the baseball team.
The estimated cost of the proposed facility is $100,000 and will replace the batting cages that are currently on the third base side of the field.
Gulf Coast Athletic Director Mike Kandler says that after the hire of a new coach, upgrading the facilities was the teams next step.
“You always want to be moving in a positive direction, Tyler Younger was a huge hire for us, he’s going to do an absolutely tremendous job, we’ll get some facility improvements to go along with that, and I think the program is in a great place to move forward and to be competitive in the panhandle conference, which is not easy,” Kandler said.
“I tell people all the time, if you’re competitive in the panhandle conference, you’re competitive nationally, because it’s the best conference in the county. So, you know that would be the plan going forward, that we’re going to be one of the better ones around, and it’s not an easy job to do, our competition is very good. But we look forward to it, and we’re excited for the future.”
The blueprints call for an 80 by 40 foot building with a metal roof, two batting and pitching cages, artificial turf, fans, indoor lighting and retractable netting.
In addition to being able to practice in bad weather, the Commodores expect the facility to help with recruitment, and Kandler says that is just as important as what happens during the season.
“Anytime you’re improving your facilities, it gives you an edge up in recruiting, but on the flip side, if you’re not doing it, you’re falling behind because other schools are,” Kandler said. “And we have great resources here, we have great support, but so does our competition. So we’re to you know keep up with everybody else and facilities are part of it, it’s just part of the nature of the business that we’re in.”