By Kristin Bednarski
Brian Wilson Field is taking form at the Batavia Township Community Center with crews working to get the field ready for the University of Cincinnati Clermont College baseball team by next spring.
“We’ve gotten a lot of work done,” Batavia Township Administrator Rex Parsons said about the field. “Sod is being put down, fencing is coming along. We’re getting down to the nitty gritty.”
The Cincinnati Reds Community Fund announced in May that they would be funding improvements for a field at the community center thanks in part to a large contribution from Reds player Jay Bruce.
Parsons said the Reds Community Fund provided $100,000 for the project and hired contractors to complete work on the field.
The Reds Community Fund, Batavia Township trustees and UC Clermont have worked together on various aspects of the project.
Parsons said the township worked to correct drainage issues affecting the field, UC Clermont chipped in $32,000 to help with improvements and everyone involved has worked together to finish the project in time for games next spring.
Parsons said they wanted to make sure the field is a good home location for the college players and is also be available for members of the community.
“To me it’s going to be an amazing transformation to have this field completed in a way that you have a college level baseball field that other organizations are going to be able to use to,” Parsons said.
Jack Harbison, assistant coach for the Clermont Cougars baseball team, said having a home field will mean a lot to the players, who have previously had to play their games in Blue Ash.
“We’ve never had a home field,” Harbison said.
Harbison said he thinks having the games near the college will enable more people to watch the games including families in the community.
“From the community standpoint I think it is going to be a real plus,” Harbison said.
He said they are hoping to also use the field for baseball camps and it will also be available for other teams to use.
“It is going to give an opportunity for some of the older summer teams to have a quality place to play,” Harbison said. “I don’t know of a public field with a grass infield in Clermont County. That will be a plus.”
Harbison said he is pleased with the work being done on the field, and said the college and the team are hoping to raise even more funds to add other accessories to the field.
“We’ve already started fund-raising for phase two,” Harbison said. “Seating behind home plate, dugouts and a scoreboard.”
Parsons said they will be grating and seeding the outfield in the coming weeks and finishing up fencing.
“We have to get grass growing this fall,” Parsons said.
He said they are working backward from opening day for the Clermont Cougars, which is in March.