Baseball V Bulldogs (copy)

Joe Aeilts (27) at-bat against Butler in 2018. Illinois State Athletics unveiled plans for a new hitting facility to open ahead of the 2023 season. 

Illinois State Athletics unveiled plans to build a new baseball hitting facility at Duffy Bass Field Monday, with construction to begin in early November and finish before the start of the baseball season.

"It's extremely exciting to be able to announce the construction of our very own baseball-specific indoor facility," ISU baseball head coach Steve Holm said via "There's no doubt this will help us continue [to] develop our players throughout the year."

The new structure will take the place of batting cages and bullpens currently down the right field line. There will be space for three cages and two roll-up doors for access to the field. 

Former ISU star and current St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong led a group of sponsors in support of the facility. 

"I'd like to thank our donors who made it possible, including Paul DeJong, who made the lead gift as well as being the first person to invest in it. Seeing so many other Redbird Baseball alumni all willing to give back to the next generation tells you how special this place is," Holm said. 

Players will no longer need to travel to Horton Field House when preparing for home games with unfavorable weather conditions. 

The facility is the second set to open in spring 2023. An all-sports indoor practice facility is scheduled to open around the same time. 

SCOTT PREROST is Sports Editor for The Vidette. Prerost can be conactacted at Follow Prerost on Twitter at @Scotty_Prerost   

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