It's Baseball Season, Right? - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

It's Baseball Season, Right?

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Patrick Barnaby stepped onto Ashford Field in Clinton two weeks ago, discouraged.

He's the Head Groundskeeper for the Clinton Lumberkings, and is in charge of getting this field ready to play on.

But, it didn't look good.

"I couldn't walk out more than 4-5 inches onto the field before I started sinking in," he explains. It's very frustrating. At least when there is snow on the ground, you resign to the fact that you're not going to be able to do anything."

The problems the field is having now stem from a harsh Winter that saw temps plunge below zero several times. 

That created frost 3-4 feet blow the ground. 

Now, it's thawing, leaving nowhere for the melting ice to go, but up.

"We might get into the 50's during the day but fall below freezing at night," Barnaby says. "All that moisture freezes and the next day it thaws out and makes it wet again."

This year, Ashford University bout the naming rights to the field. 

As part of that agreement, the college; baseball team gets to play their home games at the stadium.

But, with college baseball starting in early Spring, those home games aren't happening.

"It's a lot of pressure, trying to balance between getting it playable for the minor league season and getting them out here as much as we can," says Barnaby. "It's a balancing act."

Even with all the problems, the grounds crew believes the field should be ready for opening day. 

The Lumberkings open up their home schedule on Tuesday, April 8 against the Lake County Captains.

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