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SCC Blackhawk Baseball Team Has New Home Field

It was a warm, sunny day in early May. You could hear the crack of the bat. It was the final game of regular season play for the Southeastern Community College Blackhawk baseball team.

But there was something different: this was the first game for the Blackhawks at Burlington's Community Field, a stadium built for Class A Minor League Baseball.

"Yeah, it's different. It's a lot different, nobody in our league has a stadium like this," said Blackhawk Head Baseball Coach Justin Schulte. He said it's a new atmosphere for his team.

The Blackhawks are calling Community Field home for their post season games this month, and also for next year's regular season. Schulte said very few teams have a home field that can compare to Community Field.

Schulte laughed when asked if it would help SCC recruit new players. "You bet it will," he said.

"We'll bring recruits here every time we bring them on campus, walk them through the stadium and the clubhouse and make sure they know what it could be like for them."

Schulte said SCC first approached the Bees last year after the Bees had learned they lost their Minor League Baseball affiliation. The Bees are now part of the Prospect League, which is a wooden bat collegiate league. That leaves Community Field open for the Blackhawks’ spring season.

The teams only just recently finalized the agreement. The Blackhawks played their first game at Community Field on Wednesday, May 5.

From the Bees’ Perspective

Burlington Bees Operations Manager Tadd Lowary said he hopes the arrangement will last for the long-term. 

"I think it will benefit both of us -- for us to add additional events and dates here at Community Field, and for them to have use of a minor league stadium and facilities,” he said. 

Lowary said Blackhawk fans will also benefit by having access to all the same food and drinks they would expect at a Bees game, including a baseball tradition, the cold beer. 

"Because of the arrangement, not being on school (grounds), that's how we were able to do that," Lowary said.

He said the Blackhawks were a good fit as The Bees work to bring more events to Community Field. He said they're also working on bringing other baseball events, and possibly event concerts to the field. "We're just looking at a wide range of things to bring people out to the ballpark," he said.

Lowary said the Bees will announce their roster soon. The team’s season begins May 30.

The Blackhawks won both of their games against Southwestern Community College's Spartans on Wednesday, May 5, but lost their first post season game to Des Moines Area Community College on Saturday.

They'll finish the best-of-three series with DMACC on Monday, May 10, starting at 1:00 p.m. at Community Field.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

David Hightower is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.