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Sharpsburg Little League shows off its improvements

April 09, 2012|By BRETT NIEVES | Staff Correspondent

Sharpsburg Little League opened up its 2012 season Monday night by showing off its new renovations, capped by a lighting ceremony.

The most exciting upgrade to Sharpsburg Little League are the additions of the field lights. Two five-light poles stood beside each foul pole and two three-light poles bookend the dugouts.

“This creates more opportunities to have a longer season,” emcee Heath Mentzer said. “When the sun sets, it cuts practices and games short. So the lights provide us with more playing time.”

The volunteers — who were all recognized throughout the ceremony by lining up around the infield — broke ground on the lighting project on what Mentzer described as a rain-soaked October day.

“There’s been a desire to have lights for a long time here, but the conditions were never right,” Mentzer explained. “The committee began discussions about it in early 2011.”

League president G.E. Ingram took the field at the close of the ceremony and flipped the light switch that sat just off the mound near first base.

“Our little league has grown so much,” Ingram said. “Just a few years ago, we only had 140 kids involved. Now we’re up to about 340.”

Sharpsburg was officially sanctioned as a Little League in 1980 and with all the enhancements, it’s definitely not the league of yore.

Concrete was laid around the bleachers, dugouts and press box. The concession stand got a new roof. And a new irrigation system was installed for the neighboring softball field that received the same lighting treatment as the baseball diamond.

“The lights were greatly needed,” Ingram said. “We approached the mayor and town council about it and they all agreed with us.”

With the additions of the lights and the ability to lengthen the season, the chances of Sharpsburg hosting a district or state tournament greatly improved.

“We always felt so rushed, especially in the beginning of the season,” Mentzer said. “But the lights broaden our chances of getting tournaments because we can be more flexible with the schedule.”

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