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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac baseball takes first step to Omaha with initial stage of field renovations

Peyton McKenzie
An aerial view of the renovated Quinnipiac Baseball Field, which sits alongside the Troup and Larson residence halls on Quinnipiac’s Mount Carmel Campus.

Oklahoma State baseball debuted O’Brate Stadium in 2020. UConn unveiled Elliot Ballpark just one year later. So why not Quinnipiac?

In hindsight, these programs are nationally ranked and far more competitive than the Bobcats’ squad. But after a historic 30-win season in 2023, who’s to say Quinnipiac didn’t deserve an upgrade too?

“It’s awesome, it’s been a long time coming,” senior catcher Keegan O’Connor said.

Quinnipiac Athletics started renovations in May 2023. The $2 million facility — dubbed “Project Omaha” — has actually been in the works for nearly six years.

Omaha, Nebraska, is the home of the College World Series held every June at Charles Schwab Field Omaha.

And what are the Bobcats ultimately gunning for? A trip out west.

“This is one of the best facilities in New England right now,” head coach John Delaney said. “And these guys deserve it. I mean, they put in a lot of work.”

And so has Quinnipiac’s alumni. Throughout the last 18 months, the Bobcats have raised nearly $1.5 million of their $2.5 million goalgoal to rebuild the stadium, with much of the funds coming from former players.

“These guys know the support they’re getting from alumni so every time you step on this field, you’re playing for the guys that were here before,” Delaney said. “There’s a lot of tradition and a lot of support from everyone.”

Quinnipiac Athletics replaced the surface with turf, updated the dugouts and batting cages and placed fencing around the diamond.

Graduate student RHP Sam Favieri pitches to a Merrimack batter in Quinnipiac’s home opener on March 2. (Tyler Rinko)

In “Field of Dreams”-like fashion, the Bobcats stepped out for spring training — not from a cornfield, of course — but to an unrecognizable place they now call home. But unrecognizable isn’t bad in Quinnipiac’s case. It’s a strength it never had.

“It’s much needed and it’s brought a new life to the program,” assistant coach Trey Stover said.

The Bobcats can finally practice year-round on their field — a luxury they haven’t had with New England winters.

“It gives us the ability to get everything done on the same field at the same time,” O’Connor said. “It’s more effective for the team.”

Not only that, it’s effective for incoming prospects who could potentially wear the navy and gold. Quinnipiac has a new opportunity to recruit bigger names and compete at a higher level.

“We now have the facilities to become an elite program,” Delaney said. “This now just allows us to maybe pick up the guys that we might lose to Power Five (conferences).”

Even if the Bobcats snag those players, their team values remain the same.

“It doesn’t change how we go about business,” Delaney said. “My motto has never been, ‘We’re not gonna win because we don’t have this.’ You gotta go out there and compete and you find kids that can look past the facility part of it and buy into what we can do as a coaching staff.”

That buy-in came into play on March 2 when the Bobcats took their first home game on the new turf in a 5-4 come-from-behind walk-off over Merrimack.

Quinnipiac baseball is still a middle-of-the-road program that’s struggled against stronger non-conference opponents, including teams from Conference USA and  the Coastal Athletic Association. Currently, it stands at 5-11 on the season after being swept by William & Mary over the weekend.

But anyone can be a contender with the right motivation and team culture. And if a new field is what puts the Bobcats on the map, the journey to Omaha may not be so far away.

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About the Contributors
Amanda Dronzek
Amanda Dronzek, Sports Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director
Tyler Rinko
Tyler Rinko, Associate Photography Editor

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