New baseball hitting facility faces delays ahead of completion

Construction site of new batting cages
Construction site of new batting cages
Reid Myers

Oregon State University is currently attempting to elevate the Beaver baseball program with the construction of a cutting-edge hitting facility.

While the facility was initially planned to be completed before the 2024 OSU baseball season, officials say delays have pushed the completion date back to late spring.  

“Like any construction project, there are some delays and challenges,” said Kimya Massey, OSU’s deputy athletic director. “We have had some weather challenges we have faced so far this fall and winter … with some last minute changes on design and some things out of our control, this will be a later completion date.”

According to Massey the project is intended to align with the university’s broader goals. 

“This hitting facility construction aligns well with the overall master plan, and it will meet the standards put in place by the campus as well as the local community in terms of adhering to campus requirements and the general look and feel of facilities within the community footprint,” Massey said.

The project, located behind Goss Stadium, off Washington Avenue, is significant for the Beaver baseball team. The new 9,600-square-foot facility contains features like a mezzanine level, four batting cages, a team weight room and a meeting room.

Scott Barnes, vice president and director of Intercollegiate Athletics, said in a statement in July 2023 about the facility’s importance.

“Goss Stadium is a fantastic facility for our student-athletes, and the new hitting facility will play a large role in their continued development. This is another step forward in our facility master plan and it aligns with the priorities we have identified in our strategic plan,” Barnes said. 

Head Coach Mitch Canham also shared about the project’s impact on the team at the time. 

“Making this addition to Goss Stadium is vital for student-athlete development at Oregon State. The space afforded to us will allow our coaching staff and student-athletes to be more efficient in our day-to-day use. I’m always excited about the support we receive from Beaver Nation, and this shows our fans’ love for this program and continued success,” Canham said.

The construction has also led to the relocation of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps obstacle course to a new site near the Lorenz Soccer Field, exemplifying the campus’s evolving landscape.

Ryan Gorton, baseball director of operations said, “The new hitting facility will improve the training and development opportunities for Beaver baseball players in many ways. It will double the amount of batting cages available … allowing four players to hit simultaneously. This guarantees we’ll be more efficient in a practice and when the guys want to utilize their time to train on their own.”

The new facility offers an ideal training environment and advanced technological tools for player evaluation and development, overcoming the limitations of their current setup.

“The cage will also allow for a better spot to train when it’s raining,” Gorton said. “Right now, we typically go to Truax when it’s raining. Truax is typically cold and has white walls which is not ideal for hitting. Lastly, it will help in implementing our uses of technology to gather data. We will install such technologies like HitTrax, Edgertronic slow-motion cameras and TrackMan that will help in our evaluation and development of hitters and pitchers alike.”

Enhanced practice and preparation is something the Beavs are looking forward to as well,  “The facility will allow for more efficient sessions and a better flow to practice. Players won’t have to walk across the street and up the stairs to get to the cages or get in their cars and drive to Merritt Truax Indoor Center, they’ll simply head to center field where four cages await them,” Gorton said.  

The new facility will also streamline team practices and maximize National Collegiate Athletic Association limited practice time, enhancing player development.

“In a normal year we have around 20 position players on the roster. To get them all a chance to hit with our current set up it takes a lot of time and rotations. With the new facility, we will be able to get through team hitting rotations in a fraction of the time. The NCAA limits on practice time, this new facility will allow for our coaching staff to maximize that time like never before,” Gorton added.

Gorton also spoke about the significant advantages of the new facility, emphasizing its impact on practice efficiency, year-round camp hosting, and revenue generation.

”Not only does the facility help our coaching staff be efficient at practice, the space will also be heavily utilized for camps. Sharing the Truax space with all of the other outdoor sports puts a limit on the number of camps we can hold throughout the winter. Now, we will be able to hold camps any time of the year, no matter what the weather is doing outside. This helps generate revenue for our coaching staff and helps recruiting by allowing us more time to be able to spend with youth and prospect age players in our region,” Gorton said.

Regarding the community’s reaction, Gorton said, “Alumni and supporters that I have talked to are extremely excited about the facility. Especially with us announcing an independent schedule, it’s an exciting time for Beaver baseball heading into a place where few college baseball programs have gone before.”


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