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Synthetic infield turf is latest upgrade to NMSU?s Presley Askew Field

When members of the Aggie baseball team take the field at home this season, they?ll have a little extra spring in their step. Lush, green synthetic turf that was recently installed on the infield will provide a smooth, even playing surface and a beautiful backdrop for their games.


New Mexico State University will unveil the new turf in a pregame ceremony at 1:40 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at Presley Askew Field, 3315 S. Locust St., before the Aggies take on Towson University in the second of a three-game series.

The ceremony will celebrate the donors who contributed to the turf project, including Scott and Teri Bannister, John and Charlotte Yates, Mike and Judy Johnson and NMSU President Garrey Carruthers and his wife, Kathy.

Scott Bannister said he and his family were inspired to start the fund for the project when they saw the enthusiasm and vision of head coach Brian Green, who returned to his alma mater in 2014 and has worked to build pride and confidence in the program. Bannister said the energy of Green and the team is contagious.

?I?m like a 15-year-old trapped in a 50-year-old?s body,? Bannister joked. ?I see the enthusiasm they have and it charges me up. I?ve seen a huge change in the way they carry themselves and their sense of pride.?

The facility itself has also undergone major changes recently: A $1.4 million renovation was began last year, funded by the Johnsons. The improvements included a new grandstand, the installation of chair-back seating and a stadium sun cover to help shade fans, as well as a new outfield fence and a new pressbox, which will also be unveiled at the game.

Green said the new infield turf, which was designed and installed by New Mexico companies Molzen Corbin & Associates and Lone Mountain Contracting, will benefit the student-athletes in many ways.

?This is a game-changer in terms of the playing surface,? Green said, noting that the smooth surface and reduced dust will create better conditions for practice and competition. ?It looks beautiful, and it?s a massive component of our recruiting, because it?s boosted the pride and culture of the program, for both the players and the fans.?

NMSU Director of Athletics Mario Moccia said the new turf offers benefits in terms of spending, aesthetics and community engagement, as well.

?This turf infield will significantly reduce maintenance costs in labor and materials and look beautiful during our televised games,? Moccia said. ?It also offers multi-use opportunities for the campus and the community.?

Bannister said that community connection shows in the way Green leads the team.

?He instills in these student-athletes a sense of citizenship, being good stewards of the game and giving back to the community,? Bannister said.

Green said connection works both ways. Throughout the renovation process, it was not unusual to see a supporter stop by the field, pick up a shovel and help out for a bit.

?We?re really excited to get out there and show everyone how much this support means to us,? Green said. ?We?re all really proud of what?s happening here.?