For years, Texas Longhorns baseball fans interested in seeing more offense at UFCU Disch-Falk Field have been calling for the school to move in the fences to facilitate more home runs. Now it appears that new head coach David Pierce supports those long-held beliefs:
Big news for Texas baseball fans: David Pierce is very interested in moving in fences at the Disch. Would happen after 2017 season.— Ryan Autullo (@AutulloAAS) July 27, 2016
When the school completed renovations for the field in time for the 2009 season, there were numerous changes, including the installation of FieldTurf to replace the old AstroTruf playing surface, but the dimensions remained the same.
And the size of the cavernous field is a serious impediment to the long ball — the fence is 10 feet high around most of the stadium, but reaches 20 feet in center field to serve as a batter’s eye. Then there are the dimensions themselves. It’s 340 feet from home plate to the left-field line, 325 feet to the right-field line, and 400 feet to straightaway center. The power alleys are difficult to overcome, too — reaching 405 feet in the deepest part of the park.
Those power alleys are where the fences would come in by 15 feet.
So moving the fences in, and perhaps even reducing the height of the fence in center field, could help the ‘Horns offensively after the introduction of new BBCOR bat standards in 2011 sent power numbers plummeting, with the 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons ranking as the three seasons with the fewest total home runs in college baseball over the period since 1975.
A power-hitting Texas team in 2010 produced 81 home runs. After losing the three leading home-run hitters on the team, the 2011 Longhorns only hit 17 home runs, a number that only increased to 21 in 2012 before falling back to 12 in 2013 and then increasing to 22 in 2014.