After requesting for many years, the Gull Lake baseball team will get new batting cages in the fall of 2014. The previous cages were constantly vandalized, torn down and rebuilt. They were nothing more than hollow, metal piping, no more than two inches in diameter. Almost every year, the school would purchase new piping to put up and would constantly spend money that could be used for other projects. This year, the school decided to purchase new cages that will not be as easily brought down.
The new cages are called Mastodon Batting Cages. The poles are 8.625 inches in diameter and have a corrosion resistant coating. The same coating that was used on the Alaskan Pipeline. The nets will be held up by 3/16 inch wires hung from the top of each pole. Each batting cage will be 75 feet in length, 14 feet in width and 14 feet in height. The poles are put one foot into the ground and then surrounded by cement. In other words, they’re not going anywhere.
Saying that these new cages are upgrades from the old cages would be an understatement. The old cages could barely stay standing in medium winds. They were blown over and destroyed constantly in big storms. Although the new cages will be expensive, they will not need to be replaced for many years to come.
The durability does not only include standing up to storms and winds. The cages have state-of-the-art tensioning hardware. This allows the poles, nets and wires to stand up to the tension created when a ball is hit into the net. The cages also come with a 20-year frame warranty. Basically, there is no need to worry about the poles falling apart.
With something this hi-tech, obviously the cost will be high. The Gull Lake Sports Booster will pay the price of the cages, setting a budget of $25,000 for both baseball and softball together. The cost is great; however, it is the one of the most durable and trusted cages on the market. In the long run, the Boosters hope the cages will be a great investment and a great new feature for the baseball program.