Written by SportsDayDFW.com
New lights go out on Carroll baseball-softball doubleheader; games postponed
SOUTHLAKE — The Carroll ISD planned a memorable night with its first baseball and softball doubleheader under a newly installed lighting system. The memory is that an hour and a half after the first pitch, the lights went out in Southlake.
Citing a power problem that would take the local utility an indefinite time to repair, the baseball and softball games were postponed after about a 30-minute wait. Carroll was leading Keller Timber Creek, 5-2, in the fifth inning of the baseball game.
The game will resume at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Carroll coach Larry Hughes said. An early afternoon-start is possible with schools having spring break.
In softball, the girls were leading Justin Northwest, 5-1, in the fifth.
Ranked No. 3 in the state, Carroll’s baseball team (13-2-1, 1-0 in District 4-5A) has a pair of major college-signed pitchers with Sean Thompson (Texas Tech ) and Tyler Alexander (TCU). Carroll was eliminated by Arlington Martin one victory away from the state tournament in the Region I final at TCU last season, a best-of-3 series that drew more than 6,100 to Lupton Stadium.
To commemorate the first baseball and softball doubleheader at night, Carroll superintendent David Faltys opened ceremonies that included softball and baseball starting lineups both being introduced and taking place on the baseball field for a joint national anthem, sung by the Dawson Middle School principal. The softball team had its first district night game last week with a victory over Keller Timber Creek. Approximately 1,000 spectators turned out for the event.
Playing night games at Carroll High School among nearby neighborhood homes has been a long-term political issue. It wasn’t until this January at city council meeting that lasted until 1 a.m. with a room packed full of Carroll athletes and residents. The council unanimously agreed to a city ordinance variance to allow Carroll to install 14 light poles for two fields with heights ranging from 60 to 90 feet. With additional landscaping to buffer the neighborhood, the project cost the ISD approximately $450,000.
“I’ve been here seven years waiting for a night game,” Faltys said. “And I know some of you have been waiting 20 years.”
Carroll athletes and officials argued no lights translate into missed class time, the expense of hiring substitute teachers to finish school days for staff members and the difficulty for family members and classmates to attend games and attend softball games being moved to a city recreational park to accommodate visiting teams in playing at night. The Carroll ISD agreed to no more than 25 regular-season night games, not counting postseason,
Some early printed and posted schedules for softball (5:30 p.m.) and baseball (4 p.m.) reflect old start times.
After the mid-January council meeting, electrical wires were laid within a couple weeks and setting poles took only a few days. The sound system may be reconfigured to point away from the houses, sitting largely behind the right field baseball fence.
With a 7 p.m. baseball first pitch, there’s daylight with a wicked setting sun for the right fielder to manage, but that’s been an entire-game hazard in past 4 p.m. starts.
The baseball team had taken batting practice under the lights last Wednesday. Other than an afternoon games scheduled during state testing, Carroll will finish the regular season with all its games — home and away — at night.