The distance between USD and San Diego State is less than 10 miles.
But Commissioner Jerry Schniepp had to run a circuitous route in switching next week’s top-four divisions of the San Diego Section baseball championships from USD to SDSU — then find a home for Divisions IV and V.
“There have been a lot of phone calls and a lot of time spent, but we’ve got it nailed down, and I think we’ve got two great sites for all six finals,” Schniepp said.
USD’s 1,700-seat Fowler Park has been home for the top four divisions since 2010. And while Fowler Park is available for the May 24-25 high school championships, parking on the USD campus will be at a premium because of graduation.
So Schniepp turned to San Diego State, securing 3,000-seat Tony Gwynn Stadium.
“We went to State late, but San Diego State was very gracious,” Schniepp said. “They worked with us to secure the site.
“We’re really fortunate there are two great college facilities in town to hold our finals.”
UC San Diego’s 500-seat Triton Ballpark has hosted Divisions IV and V the last few years, but the UCSD baseball team is hosting an NCAA Division II Regional this weekend.
The Tritons hope with a victory they would be in line to host a Super Regional next weekend, so they didn’t want to commit their ballpark to the prep games.
That sent Schniepp in search of a suitable venue. He tried:
Grossmont College — Construction near the baseball field made that a tough fit.
Palomar College — A beautiful new venue with restrooms, concessions and pressbox, but seating for only 250.
Cal State San Marcos — Nice playing surface, but limited seating, no concessions, limited restrooms and no pressbox.
Point Loma Nazarene — Gorgeous venue, but limited seating and parking.
So Schniepp secured Poway High for the May 25 Division IV and V finals.
Poway has plenty of parking, seating for 500, concessions, restrooms and a pressbox to go along with a well-groomed field.
“We want all our teams — Open to Division V — to have a great championship experience,” Schniepp said. “I know San Diego State will be great. And I think when the Division IV and V teams see Poway, they’ll feel they’re on a championship site.”
San Diego Section championship games:
Open Division: May 25, 7 p.m.
Division I: May 24, 7 p.m.
Division II: May 25, 3:30 p.m.
Division III: May 24, 3:30 p.m.
At Poway High
Division IV: May 25, 3:30 p.m.
Division V: May 25, noon
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