By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published March 29, 2007
It was reminiscent of the line “If you build it, they will come” from the baseball movie “Field of Dreams.” The people definitely came out for the March 24 ball game and dedication of Pinecrest Academy’s new baseball field, “Fathers Field.”
The field was designed and constructed by Pinecrest parent Ed Mangan, who is the field manager for the Atlanta Braves. The field has a six-inch sand profile, an underground irrigation system, a scoreboard and yellow foul poles with the name of the school mascot, Paladins, embossed on them. The centerfield alley is 365 feet with a 10-foot fence surrounding the outfield.
During a dedication ceremony preceding the game against Arlington Christian School of Fairburn, Rick Swygman, Pinecrest Academy executive director, introduced Bill Brown. Brown and his wife Paige were the principal donors out of some 120 people contributing toward the field. The field was dedicated to the memory of their fathers and all fathers, both physical and spiritual. Father Scott Reilly, LC, president of the school, blessed the field with holy water, and the dedication concluded with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at home plate. Accompanied by his sons Stone and Wills, Brown also threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Arlington Christian School jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Senior Michael Cassandra hit a RBI triple to score Pinecrest’s first run in the bottom of the second inning, and two throwing errors by Arlington allowed Pinecrest to tie the game up at 3-3. Between the third and seventh innings there were four ties and lead changes between the two teams. Pinecrest held an 11-8 lead going into the seventh inning, and then Arlington scored two more runs in the seventh. With the tying run on third, the go-ahead run on first and two outs, Pinecrest pitcher Mike Metz forced the Arlington batter to hit a ground ball and the first base runner was tagged out for a climactic ending to the game. The 11-10 victory gave Pinecrest its first home win and first win of the season.