Friday, March 31, 2017

The Bosh Pit

I ventured into enemy territory this week, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to watch a baseball game between the dreaded Tar Heels and Coastal Carolina.  I wore my best navy blue shirt, with an NC State t-shirt underneath, and parted with a few dollars for two tickets into the game.  I loaded my son into the car and away we felt a little bit like that "pilgrims in an unholy land" scene from Indiana Jones.....

A little back story.  When I first moved to North Carolina, which was a little more than 10 years ago, I had actually vowed to stay neutral in the whole college sports scene.  I lived in the southwest corner of Durham about 10 minutes from Duke's campus and roughly the same distance from UNC depending on the stop lights on 15-501.  I went to Duke and UNC sporting events didn't really have a horse in the race, just good college sports.

UNC had a pretty good baseball program at the time and I liked watching games at Boshamer Stadium.  It was a bit of dive, but you were close to the field, and the quality of players was better than State or Duke.  By dive I mean a few sections of bleachers and a grass hill.

The last game I went to at Boshamer before this week I saw UNC play South Carolina.  Justin Smoak was on USC.  I think I saw Andrew Miller pitch an NCAA tournament game sitting on the hill next to first base at some point too.  At some point a few years back the Heels shut down 'The Bosh Pit" for a year, played at USA Baseball, and then moved back into the remodeled stadium the next year.  I hadn't seen the new version.  It is nice.

A few pictures from the game......

The outside of the stadium has a nice brickyard around it and a simple entrance.  The outside of the stadium also has banners featuring some of the school's more prominent former players.  I found Andrew Miller for my picture since he was a player I saw back in the day.....

I believe that Dustin Ackley is in the background.  I like the brick facade and courtyard around the stadium.  The baseball stadium is on the UNC campus and the outside of the stadium fits in well with the other buildings in this part of campus.  Sure, there are a few ugly 1970s high rise apartment looking things in the background of the stadium, but the majority of the buildings around this part of campus are red bricks.  

The courtyard is named for the Steinbrenner Family.   Yes, that Steinbrenner family.  Apparently some of George's kids went to UNC.  I believe the former players listed on the wall made a gift towards the stadium remodel, not positive about that though.

The concourses are a little small, but I think some of that is clutter.  First base side is on the left with vending machines and concession stands.  Third base side has some of that, but most of it is built into the stadium.  A little bit more space to move around.  Still on par with a minor league stadium.  

The interior of the stadium is very nice too.  I like that they used the school colors mixed with green trim.  Green goes with baseball.  I like that the seats and furnishings are mainly green and that the Carolina blue is used on the dugouts and accents.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but a lot of the signage is green with blue writing you can see it better on the retired jerseys.....

which are behind the first base stands. 

It was a mid-week matchup, so the crowd was a little smaller than would be expected for a defending National Champion taking on a Top 10 team.  The game also started at 6 and filled in a little bit more as the night went along.  This was the line card exchange.  

A little hard to see from the pictures, the netting around the field was not loved by my camera phone, but UNC wore some throwback looking unis.  Seems to be a pretty big thing around college baseball right now.

A look at the playing field during the game from behind home plate.  So, on to the game.  UNC ended up winning.  Lots of home runs which was kind of surprising because the bats don't allow those sorts of things to happen....

In the end the Heels hung on for a 7 to 6 win.  

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