The away team wooden bleachers of Maloney field are overgrown with plants after nearly two months of rain have caused home games to be cancelled. (ILDAR SABIROV/ Golden Gate Xpress)
Rain continues to torment Maloney Field this season.
SF State has not hosted a baseball game since Feb. 12, nearly two months without the home crowd advantage.
With constant rain bombarding the Bay Area, the Gators rescheduled every home series this season, including a canceled set against first place UC San Diego.
SF State’s last game at Maloney Field was against Simson University on Feb. 12. The Gators have yet to host a conference game on their home field this season.
Senior outfielder Harley Lopez says the rain has affected the team’s practice schedule but players are still able to get work in.
“We still lift weights every day, that doesn’t change,” Lopez said. “The pitchers will still go out there and throw, even in the rain.”
With the recent success of the program, Lopez hopes SF State baseball will gain more funding to continue improvements on the 64-year-old field. Maloney Field opened in 1955 and has served as the home for Gator baseball ever since.
“We’re starting to turn this program around and get some recognition around the conference,” Lopez said. “I know SF State doesn’t have a lot of money to put into baseball, but hopefully as we grow the program, we can show that we deserve the extra funding.”
Maloney Field had renovations prior to the 2017 season, but with the field sitting below sea level, it doesn’t drain water well.
Junior first baseman Trevor Rodgers said it is hard to prepare for a game when the schedule constantly changes.
“One day we’ll be ready to go and then we have to play somewhere else, it can be frustrating.”
The Gators have played “home” games away from Maloney Field this season. On Feb. 24, the Gators played a doubleheader at Chico State against the Wildcats where SF State was the home team. The Gators also hosted a four-game series against Cal State Dominguez Hills at Cal State East Bay.
SF State head coach Tony Schifano says it doesn’t affect the team’s play.
“We’re not going to use [the rain] as an excuse by any means. Would we like to have a home game at Maloney? Yes,” Schifano said. “We would like to be in a comfortable setting, we haven’t had one yet in conference. This is something the guys are grinding through and we’re just
trying to find a way to win ball games on the road.”
The Gators were perfect to start their conference schedule, winning their first 10 games. SF State then split their next two series and lost their first series of the season last weekend against last-place Cal State San Bernardino. The Gators are 15-8 in conference play, good enough for a
third-place standing. Despite the difficult situation the Gators are faced with Schifano is pleased with how his team has performed.
“If you would have asked me 15 games and you have every game on the road and you’d be at the top of the conference would you take it? I would say yes,” Schifano said prior to the Cal State San Bernardino series.
SF State’s next scheduled home series starts Thursday, April 18 against Cal State Monterey Bay, contingent on weather.