(no pets allowed at all facilities)
Woods Field has been the home to East Texas Baptist University baseball since the program’s inception in the mid-1960s.
The facility has received a number of upgrades over the last few years. The latest of the upgrades, and the most dramatic, was the installation of lights just prior to the 2008 season that allowed for the first nighttime baseball in the history of the program.
The addition of lights to the facility was announced in the fall of 2007, with a gift from longtime ETBU supporter Mr. J. Lloyd Woods of Tenaha. The Tigers played their first night game at home on Feb. 8, 2008, against Jarvis Christian College. When the lights came on, the Tigers were in the midst of a 17-4 victory.
Mr. Woods was on hand to throw out the first pitch of the game, but he passed away just nine days later at the age of 91. A moment of silence was held in his honor a day later, when the Tigers hosted the University of Dallas and came away with a come-from-behind 9-8 win.
The facility has also received more upgrades since Blackmon was named coach in 2006. These upgrades include a remodeling of the Tiger bullpen, as well as additions and improvements to the outdoor batting cages.
In 2005, the old metal backstop and dugouts were torn down and replaced with red brick. The chain-link backstop, which had surrounded home plate for years, was replaced by a dark netting which provides safety while allowing for improved sight lines for fans in the bleachers.
Woods Field, with its short porch in left, has long been recognized as a hitter-friendly park. ETBU’s offensive numbers through the years indicate that fact -- the Tigers ranked consistently among national leaders in runs per game, home runs, batting average and slugging percentage since making the move to NCAA Division III in 1998.
The ballpark especially favors right-handed hitters, with the left-field wall sitting just 325 from home plate. The distance to center field is 400 feet, while the right-field fence is a more comfortable 335 feet from the batter’s box.
A large inning-by-inning scoreboard towers above the wall in left and is surrounded by East Texas pine trees. The facility includes bleacher seating for up to 300 fans, and there is also ample space down both lines for fans to use lawn chairs and blankets to watch Tiger baseball on warm spring days in East Texas.
A double batting cage sits on a concrete foundation with artificial turf behind the Tiger dugout on the third-base side. The facility is also equipped with a two-story press box/concession stand which sits directly behind home plate.
Woods Field’s location provides a wide-ranging, scenic few of the ETBU campus, with beautiful, tall pine trees providing a nice picture beyond the walls in left and center field.