Prospect League

Hoots will play remaining home games at QU Stadium

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 21, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Jun. 21, 2019 11:50 pm

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- The Hannibal Hoots won't play baseball in Hannibal this season as the club hoped.

Floodwaters at Clemens Field prior to the start of the season forced the club to play its home games at QU Stadium in Quincy and plan to return home June 28.

However, general manager Matt Stembridge announced Friday afternoon the Hoots received approval from the Prospect League to play their remaining home schedule at QU Stadium and will not return to Clemens Field this season. Stembridge said he had doubts about playing in Hannibal as the date drew closer.

"The likelihood we're playing at home June 28 is next to zero," Stembridge said. "The uncertainty was still pretty big."

Stembridge said crews were only able to get into the park through Beckley Gate -- the entrance down the third-base line -- just last weekend, and there was still standing water on the playing surface. Pictures earlier this month showed the extent of the water covering the field that Stembridge said was there for at least 14 days.

That water has ruined the playing surface, and Stembridge said it needs replaced. The club had looked into installing new sod, but vendors did not have enough confidence it would last throughout the season.

"It looks like a bean field out there," he said. "It's dead and gone."

Stembridge said cleanup has begun on the suites and other areas in the stadium. That includes work that had to be done in early May when water flooded the stadium the first time.

Stembridge said the decking and supportive structures around the stadium have suffered considerable water damage from the flooding.

The club's remaining schedule has been altered to accommodate dates the Gems and Hoots both were slated to play at home. All promotional events scheduled will now take place at QU Stadium.

"Quincy University and the Quincy Gems have been incredibly gracious with their resources during the Hoots' time of need," Stembridge said.

The flooding also affected the annual Missouri vs. Illinois All-Star Baseball game that's scheduled for July 13. Organizers announced earlier this week it would play at Veterans Field in Hannibal. The game had been played at Clemens Field the first six years.