Tulsa native and Cy Young and Gold Glove award winning pitcher Dallas Keuchel attended the Golden Eagle Diamond dinner on Jan. 15 to help raise funds for the newly announced plan to install a new all-turf infield at J.L. Johnson Sta- dium. The event more than tripled the previous record of funds at a Diamond dinner event.
“The turf would give us a competitive advantage and would not hinder us during inclement weather,” said head coach Ryan Folmar. “It also allows us to be to host different events such as the Oklahoma [High School] State championship.”
The plan is to have an all-turf infield starting in front of home plate and ending at the baselines. It would also include a turf hallow behind home plate and stretching past both dugouts.
“There is a tremendous amount of momentum in this program and you can really feel it at an event like this. From our players, parents, fans and alumni, the excitement continues to build,” said Tim Johnson, assistant athletic director of development. “Record-breaking nights like the Diamond Dinner and special projects like turfing the infield will continue to help ensure that ORU baseball is at the top of the Summit League.”
There are currently 32 Div. I baseball teams playing on all-turf infields. The H.A. Chapman Indoor Practice Facility where the baseball team practices during the winter already features an all-turf infield.
The ORU baseball team starts the season on Feb. 19 when they take on Indiana State in Little Rock, Arkansas.