Hometown Report: Sac State baseball would like to light it up -- its field, that is

Published: Tuesday, May. 14, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Tuesday, May. 14, 2013 - 9:09 am

Reggie Christiansen wants to see the light.

Banks of them, actually, splashing down on Sacramento State's baseball field.

Christiansen, the third-year Hornets coach, has a laundry list of reasons how a luminous home setting at John Smith Field would add more zest to a program that has surged under his command. Sac State has posted back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time in 20 years behind record-setting performances from a roster that includes draft prospects and is heavy on area talent.

But unless fans work a night shift or phone in sick regularly, it's a challenge for them to catch the Hornets in action. The best-kept sports entertainment ticket in town is in the dark.

Parking can be a bear on weekdays, when games generally start at 2 p.m. Playing some night games would change this and bring ambiance. Night events are a social happening for all ages, and a revenue boost at Cal, Stanford, Fresno State and Pacific, which hosts the Hornets tonight in Stockton.

Christiansen scheduled a contest earlier this spring against Fresno State at Raley Field, and he'd plot more games at the Triple-A park if not for logistics and rental fees. The coach prefers to drum up funds for lights of his own. But they don't come cheaply. Lights go for some $600,000. Sac State is exploring options.

"It'd be a much better experience for everyone with lights," Christiansen said. "People work, or students are in class when we play weekday games. With lights, we'd be able to practice more. Thursday is literally the only day we have a team practice, and that's hard. Our guys are in class all day Monday and Wednesday so they don't have to miss so much time on the days we play. Lights change everything."

Christiansen paused and continued.

"From a win-loss perspective, it'd really help us. It's a different game under lights, a great advantage, and it prepares you for the postseason."

The plate has been in the same place at Sac State since 1953 with new surroundings added through the years. Renovations include permanent seating for 1,050, sunken dugouts, a clubhouse with a players' lounge, locker rooms and coaches' offices. The Hornets already do a nice job mining Northern California for recruits. Imagine how lights could aid that cause.

"And we have the highest home attendance for all Northern California baseball teams outside of Stanford on Sundays with 400 to 500 fans now," Christiansen said. "We'd have some sellouts with lights.

"Baseball in this community is huge. We're playing great baseball here, so let's show it off even more."

Cal Poly QB scramble

Two Folsom graduates competed in spirited spring workouts in an effort to win the quarterback job at Cal Poly.

Dano Graves, an Air Force sophomore transfer, and Tanner Trosin, a redshirt freshman, are in a dead heat after the Mustangs' spring game to run the triple option with sophomore Chris Brown and junior Vince Moraga.

Graves, The Bee's Player of the Year in 2010, set the state record for total touchdowns in a single season with 85.

Trosin, The Bee's Offensive Player of the Year, set state season records for passing yards (5,185) and total yards (6,364) the next season.

Laughrea moves on

Jimmy Laughrea of Rocklin has left the Boise State football team for undisclosed reasons. The redshirt freshman quarterback has been in contact with a number of schools, including American River College.

The Beavers, like many community college teams, can be a haven for athletes needing a fresh start. ARC already has former Grant and Washington safety James Sample, and former Folsom and Oregon State wide receiver Tyler Trosin.

Follow on Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD and on podcast: ESPN1320.net

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