J.I. Clements Stadiums prepares to host the NCAA Baseball Regional
STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - It is less than 24 hours from first pitch for the NCAA Baseball Regional being held in Statesboro this weekend. All the action is happening at Georgia Southern’s J.I. Clements Stadium.
This facility is ready for its moment in the sun. Statesboro is one of 16 regional hosts for this year’s NCAA Baseball Tournament and plenty of attention will be on this ballpark this weekend.
The university found out they were hosting the four squads and seven potential games on Sunday evening. Since then, it’s been all systems go trying to get ready.
Even today, final tweaks were being put on the ballpark from signage to field maintenance - anything that could be done for this stadium to be in tip top shape.
Athletic director Jared Benko and longtime head baseball coach Rodney Hennon said this has been a goal for this baseball program for a long time and they plan to make sure their exposure on the national scene is a good one.
“That was a vision for this program. We looked at the specs back in those days…(former GSU President Dr. Bruce) Grube and Sam Baker went off those specs to one day to be in position to host a regional. So, it’s pretty cool to see that come to fruition,” said Hennon.
“Just the economic impact, the recruiting opportunities from an admissions standpoint, you can’t put a premium on this. Really for us, it’s that healthy chip on our shoulder, trying to show them that not only have we earned this spot and we belong, but we can do it better than anybody,” said Benko.
It’s going to be a packed stadium as well as tickets for this weekend sold out one day after they went on sale, and the school is pretty close to selling out of standing room only tickets.
The action gets started at 2:00 p.m. on Friday with Texas Tech squaring off with Notre Dame.
Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.