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Batting Facility Feature: Allegheny Health Network's Sports Academy for Baseball & Softball, Pennsylvania

By On Deck Sports
September 16, 2016

Designing a Custom Baseball & Softball Complex in Pittsburgh, PA

Indoor sports facilities are no longer just batting cages - they are full centers of improvement for the athletes in the area of the facility. This is clearly evident at the Allegheny Health Network's Sports Academy for Baseball & Softball in Pittsburgh, PA. This nearly 7,400 square foot facility is used by Frank Velasquez Jr. and his team of sports performance professionals to help elevate the play of local athletes and to aid in recovery for injured athletes. "This baseball and softball section was about 7,400 square feet of a large sports complex," On Deck Sports facility expert Keith Burke said when discussing Allegheny Health Network's Sports Academy for Baseball & Softball. "We installed a shell net batting cage over the entire area - creating four cages with our divider netting. The four cages can be made into one large cage, and we installed a smaller pitching lane to allow for flexibility." With a facility of this size, Burke made sure to work carefully with Velasquez to ensure everything was correct. Burke created custom drawings to outline the exact specifications of the facility. This showed how the turf would be laid out and where everything would be placed in the area. [slideshow_deploy id='680'] He then worked with our animator to design a custom 3D rendering of the facility. This custom option allows facility owners to get a near-exact look at what their facility will look like when completed. Our custom animations come complete with renderings of the exact turf, netting and products that will be in your facility - allowing you to see your facility before it is built. [slideshow_deploy id='686']

Installing Turf & Batting Cages

The AHN Baseball & Softball Academy went with PM34 turf in their facility. The used it in their batting cages, pitching tunnel and the full field area that is used for training. They put in four batting cages that are all 12' x 35' and can fully retract to give an even larger full field area. After working closely with Burke, the facility also received a custom pitching lane that is 8' wide x 64' long. This takes advantage of an area that would not be in use and maximizing it to bring a more complete facility experience. The shell net batting cages can move thanks to On Deck Sports' custom design. They slide on the exterior shell - much like a shower curtain does. This allows for Velasquez and the other instructors to open or close any of the custom cages as they please. This can create multiple different layouts of the facility - allowing for different focuses depending on the group that is in the area. "We are excited about the pitching lanes," Velasquez said when asked about the pitching lane being designed into the facility. " As they say, 'Pitching and Defense wins championships.'  To have an area dedicated to pitching only is very exciting.  And with some of our professional instructors to be teaching out of the space is even more exciting." The decision to go with PM34 came down to a few factors. One was the ability to train baseball, softball and rehab/recovery directly on the turf. The turf has a soft feel, which allows athletes to dive on the turf without risking injury. It also allows for workouts to happen on the turf without creating discomfort - like some other, more abrasive turf options do. It is also very durable and allows AHN to train a large number of athletes without worrying about the turf failing. "So far the facility is holding up very well," Velasquez said. "[We] have not really started with the high volume months yet, but we are confident the facility will hold up strong.  With our new AHN Sports Academy for Baseball and Softball we will revolutionize how baseball and softball players are developed in Western Pennsylvania."

The Baseball & Softball Equipment We Supplied

We also filled the facility with high quality products including the PVTee, Batting Mat Pro, ProMounds ProModel practice mounds, Premium L-screens and more. These ProMounds products are durable and can easily withstand the heavy traffic in the facility. Our ability to custom fit the facility has allowed AHN to maximize their space. They now have the ability to have two pitchers, four hitters and a full team training at the same time. Not only will their efficiency improve, but the athletes in the area will improve and get a more quality training session. "I would for sure," Velasquez said when talking about suggesting On Deck Sports to other potential facility owners. "Top of the line service and equipment. On Deck has been around for a long time and has the experience and expertise needed to assemble and premier facility.  I would give On Deck my highest recommendation.  From placing the order to installing the equipment it was a great experience."  

AHN Sports Performance Center

30001 Cool Springs Drive

Pittsburgh PA 15234