Prep Sports

Cedar Rapids Xavier will play baseball, softball at Mount Mercy in 2021

Ken Charipar, Bob Erusha facilities will get a $1.1 million improvement in time for the 2022 season

A rendering of the new, renovated and relocated Bob Erusha Field, home of the Cedar Rapids Xavier softball program. Work
A rendering of the new, renovated and relocated Bob Erusha Field, home of the Cedar Rapids Xavier softball program. Work will begin in April and should be completed by the end of the summer. In the meantime, the Saints will play the 2021 season at Mount Mercy University (Courtesy Xavier High School)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — The Xavier High School baseball and softball teams will be displaced this summer.

When they return in 2022, they’ll be coming home to improved, renovated facilities.

The school announced Wednesday plans for major renovations to its baseball and softball fields, named after Ken Charipar and Bob Erusha, respecitively. Both venues sustained significant damage from the derecho that hit Aug. 10.

Backstops, bleachers, fencing and dugouts at each field were affected.

The project will be funded exclusively through the gifts of five families. Projected at approximately $1.1 million, it is scheduled to begin in April, and should be completed by the end of the summer.

Xavier will play all home games and most practices at Mount Mercy University this season.

“We were very fortunate to have relatively minimal damage on campus as a result of the derecho. However, our baseball and softball fields were hit pretty hard,” Xavier president Chris McCarville said in a release.

“Since the storm occurred, our community has rallied and supported each other in ways too numerous to count. The financial support we received to not just repair, but also upgrade both fields has been humbling. We are incredibly grateful.”

Planned renovations include:

• Synthetic turf infield to be installed on both fields. Outfields will remain grass.

• New, netted backstops with 3-foot high base wall to be installed at both fields.

• New bleachers and increased seating capacity by approximately 50 percent for both fields.

• New, sunken dugouts for baseball field to improve spectator sightlines.

• Improved drainage system and stormwater detention.

• A new plaza area between both fields.

Additionally, the softball field will move 10 feet to the northeast. This improvement, according to the release, “not only increases the amount of room for spectators between both fields, it also allows for dramatically improved sightlines for the softball field.”

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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