Playing under the lights for the first time at its on-campus baseball field, the Prairie View Spartans will host an eight-game tournament this weekend.
Friday's action gets under way at 2 p.m. with Tri-County (Miss.) vs. River Oaks, followed by Claiborne Academy vs. Franklin Academy at 4 and Tri-County vs. Prairie View at 6.
Prairie View and Riverfield tested the lights, which were installed during the offseason, during a preseason scrimmage, but Friday's game against Tri-County will mark the first official night game at the park.
“Getting to play at night was pretty neat,” Prairie View coach Dan Smart said. “We got a little taste of playing under the lights in this ballpark. We've been practicing under the lights. In the past, if it got dark, we had to go home.”
Last season, the Spartans had two games declared ties due to darkness.
With MAIS schools playing softball in the fall, Prairie View's baseball and softball teams are able to share the same field. When baseball season ends, the fences are moved in and the basepaths shortened for softball.
“Having lights is really going to be good for the girls,” said Smart, a former PVA softball coach. “Now they can practice at night instead of having to fight the heat during the summer.”
Saturday's five-game schedule starts at 10 a.m. with Tallulah vs. Claiborne. Franklin and River Oaks take the field at noon, Prairie View is matched against Tallulah at 2 p.m., River Oaks and Claiborne square off at 4, with Franklin and Prairie View tangling in the tournament finale at 6.
Prairie View opened the season by going 2-1 in last week's Franklin Academy Tournament. Monday's game at Tri-County was washed out.