App State Baseball continues to enhance the fan and player experience at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium with multiple additions heading into the 2023 season.
Last spring, a batter’s eye, a visual backdrop to aid the batter when at home plate, was installed on the outfield wall, which improved the way the game was played.
“Definitely a huge impact,” senior receiver Hayden Cross said. “In early spring, the batter’s eye made it easier to see, especially when receiving.”
During the summer, new seats along the first end line and a scoreboard were installed. The dashboard was named after C. Philip Byers, a big supporter during the fundraising process.
“We can never repay him for this,” head coach Kermit Smith said. “We have a very supportive group of our alumni fans.”
The scoreboard adds a new element to the game viewing experience as different visuals and numbers will be displayed.
“It’s going to be huge for the fans to see the stats on the board and also for the players to see the trackman numbers as well,” said senior first baseman Luke Drumheller.
The smith stadium beauty is known locally and nationally, thanks in part to App State alum Max Renfro. Renfro captured the backdrop of the pitch, which was noticed by the MLB.
In addition to beauty, the App State baseball game has also been noticed by fans, as the team recently reached the highest subscription sales and season attendance since 2012.
“Very unique place to watch a game,” Smith said. “Foyers, outdoor deck, new first base side seating and general admission areas.”
This season, App State is firing several seniors as they push for the top of the Sun Belt.
“We’ve got a really good team this year,” Cross said. “We were lucky to make some noise in the Sun Belt.”
There has been a build up for the season by fans and players alike as they are excited to make an impact on the team, especially those playing for the last time.
“Giving my all this year and having no regrets is my goal for this season,” Drumheller said.
These improvements to Smith Stadium come with the continued progress of the athletic program year over year, as App State baseball has grown in prominence in recent years.
“You want everyone to be at that level,” Smith of App State Athletics said. “To have a championship athletic department.”