Baseball Field Lights Campaign Raises $230,000-plus; First Game with Lights is May 7
MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology will celebrate its first night baseball game when the new lights are switched on for the first time at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field. The event, set for May 7, will celebrate the $230,000 raised in the “Lighting the Way to a Bright Future” fundraising campaign. The Florida Tech team will play for the first time at home under lights during the 6:30 p.m. game with Florida Southern College.
A ceremony to commemorate the event starts at 6:15 p.m. Because it’s a special game, the first pitches will be thrown by Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese and former head baseball coach and ball field namesake Les Hall.
Campaign donors were primarily alumni who played baseball at the university.
“For the team and fans, I express my great appreciation to the generous donors who have made night games and practice possible,” said Ken Stackpoole, senior vice president and chief development officer. “Fan support is huge for our very successful Panthers baseball team.”
Major donors stepping up to the plate include Trustee William “Randy” Muns, baseball legend and Eau Gallie High School graduate Tim Wakefield, Joel Stephens, Jerry J. Arsenault, Brian S. Crane, Herman J. Koch and Chad C. Shoultz. “We appreciate the tremendous support we received from everyone for this project, especially our baseball alumni,” said Bill Jurgens, athletics director.
“The lights will allow for us to draw more fan support and potential community support,” said Greg Berkemeier, Florida Tech head baseball coach.
The Panthers have advanced to the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament twice in the last three years under head coach Berkemeier. In 2010, the team established a new program record for wins in a single season—39. With just three games remaining this year, they have guaranteed themselves their ninth straight 25-plus season.
The “Lighting the Way to a Bright Future” campaign continues as donors are still sought to light the soccer and softball fields.