College baseball: 5 more stadiums to plan road trips for in 2016
Last week, NCAA.com released our list of five must-visit baseball stadiums in the 2016 season. There was plenty of debate from the fans on social media about which are the best places to catch a college baseball game.
Based on those suggestions, here are five more stadiums to add to your travel list this season.
UFCU Disch-Falk Field, Austin, Texas
Texas remains one of the most successful college baseball programs of all-time with their six national championships. With so much history surrounding the program, it's worth making a trip to UFCU Disch-Falk Field, which can hold up to 6,750 fans in attendance.
Disch-Falk Field replaced Clark Field on Feb. 17, 1975 and earned its namesake after two Texas legends, Billy Disch and Bibb Falk. "Uncle Disch" coached the Longhorns from 1911 to 1939 during which the program won 20 Southwest Conference titles. Bibb Falk not only coached Texas to a pair of national championships in 1949 and 1950 but he also played for the Longhorns under Disch.
The stadium has hosted many memorable games, including the longest NCAA baseball game ever on May 30, 2009. Texas defeted Boston College 3-2 in a game that lasted seven hours over the course of 25 innings.
Founders Park, Columbia, S.C.
The 2009 opening of Founders Park (originally known as Carolina Stadium) sure has been good luck. The Gamecocks advanced to the national title series three straight years and took home the CWS titles in 2010 and 2011. South Carolina broke ground on the facility in 2007 and the park officially opened on Feb. 21, 2009 with a 13-0 win over Duquesne.
Founders Park boasts one of the best views in college baseball with its location on the Congaree River and the Columbia skyline stretching behind the outfield. The stadium can accommodate up to 8,000-plus fans, with 6,400 chair-back seats. South Carolina fans take baseball seriously and it shows by the crowds that rush out to see the Gamecocks. Nothing gets the South Carolina faithful more fired up than the stadium blaring "Sandstorm" and "Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey" through the speakers.
In front of the home crowd, the Gamecocks have complied an outstanding 214-50 record for a .811 winning percentage. Founders Park has also ranked in the top-5 in attendance every year since its opening, including an average of 7,300 fans last year.
Hawks Field, Lincoln, Neb.
Nebraska has some of the most passionate fans regardless of the sport and baseball is no exception. The Haymarket Park complex expands over 32 acres with Hawks Field and softball's Bowlin Stadium. The name Haymarket Park comes from its location in the historic Haymarket District and also serves as the home for Lincoln Saltdogs.
Nebraska dedicated Hawk Fields in memory of its biggest supporter, Myrna Hawk, who passed away before the completion of the project. The Cornhuskers played their first game at the ballpark on March 5, 2002 and picked up a 23-1 win.
Hawks Field offers the perfect combination for its fans with the 4,800 chair-back seats and room for an extra 4,000 people on the berms along the outfield and baselines. The park also offers an incredible view of Cornhuskers' other favorite venue, Memorial Stadium, just behind left field.
The field's playing surface has been regarded as one of the best in college baseball, winning national awards in 2003 and 2007. Lincoln remains of the premier college towns across the country, so a Cornhuskers baseball game should be on anyone's list.
Goss Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.
The Pac-12 Conference has a long standing baseball tradition and features one of the oldest ballparks in the country with Oregon State's Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The Beavers have been playing on campus since 1907. The field itself is in honor of Ralph Coleman, who coached the Beavers for 35 seasons.
Goss Stadium underwent three renovations in 1999, 2009 and once again in 2014. Former Oregon State standout and New York Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury donated $1 million to the expand the locker rooms, which was completed prior to the 2015 season. During the 2016 season, the Beavers will unveil a new video board that stands 26-feet high and stretches 50 feet wide. It is expected to be the largest videoboard in the Pac-12 conference.
While the seating capacity is smaller than the others on this list, it is always filled with fans dressed in their best orange and black. Oregon State has rewarded its faithful fans by bringing home back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007.
Swayze Field, Oxford, Miss.
Named after legend Tom Swayze, the Ole Miss Rebels have one of the most exciting game experiences in the SEC at Swayze Field. The stadium has been home to the Rebels since 1989 and ranks in the top-5 in attendance almost every year.
There isn't a bad seat in the house for those in attendance from the almost 6,100 grandstand seats to family area in left field. Then of course, there is the "Swayze Crazy" student section in right field. Thousands of Ole Miss student fans can crowd into the area especially during a big series or NCAA regional.
The students and players have created some great traditions in college baseball, including the outfielders tossing baseballs to the students after warmups and the students returning them with messages and drawings. A more recent tradition involves the players and fans dancing together and fist pumping to "Love is Gone" in the middle of the fifth inning.
The athletic department just announced this month that Swayze Field will undergo a $13 million renovation, including a new clubhouse, indoor batting and pitching areas. The project is expected to be completed before the 2018 season.
Honorable mentions: Miami's Mark Light Stadium, Vanderbilt's Hawkins Field, Virginia's Davenport Field, Wichita State's Eck Stadium