ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: Sonoma Index-Tribune
Lorna Sheridan, Index-Tribune Education Editor
Joe Peterson and Maclean Meyn took over the annual Home Run Derby fundraiser this year for their senior project at Sonoma Valley High School, but they weren’t content just raising money – although they do expect to bring in several thousand dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project.
They love baseball and wanted to make a noticeable impact on the Arnold Field facilities used by the high school teams. The batting cage has been in disrepair and almost unusable in recent years, so they decided to raise money to renovate the cage, well in advance of the baseball season.
Several months of hard work later, “Our batting cage is probably the best in the county now,” said Peterson. “It works better and is safer and better looking.” The turf is new, as is the grading, the netting and the concrete pad. A new roof is going on and new lights make it safer and easier to see.
“The updated batting cage looks great,” said Sonoma Stompers general manager Theo Fightmaster. “We’re thrilled that Joe had the idea and ambition to put this together, he did a fantastic job. And it’s great that so many groups came together to help him with these much-needed improvements. The new cage will serve all of Sonoma baseball well, including the Stompers.”
While the batting machine still needs to be fixed, the cage is already getting a lot of use by the SVHS team, which is a few weeks into its spring season.
Flyers can be seen around town already for the April 9 Home Run Derby at Arnold Field. The all-day event is a popular Sonoma tradition. “Beyond all the local parents who love to come with their kids, we invite our entire league, as well as everyone from the Stompers organization,” said Peterson.
He added that the radar gun, which tracks pitch speed, is particularly popular with kids and dads alike