Southeast Missouri State University introduced Andy Sawyers as its new head baseball coach on August 1. Sawyers is the sixth head coach in the Redhawks baseball history and takes over a program that has won three consecutive Ohio Valley Conference regular-season championships, including the OVC Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016.
Sawyers brings 18 years of collegiate coaching experience with him to Cape Girardeau and most recently spent the last two seasons as Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator at Kansas State. A little over three weeks into the job, Sawyers and the City of Cape Girardeau officially broke ground on Capaha Field, the longtime home of Redhawk Baseball. Sawyers, along with Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger, University President Dr. Carlos Vargas, Capahas manager Jess Bolen, American Legion coach Justin Leiser and Southeast Director of Athletics Brady Barke were all on hand to usher in this historic event.
The groundbreaking marked the official start of a 1.6 million dollar renovation project that will include installation of synthetic turf to help improve field playability, new fencing, and a new digital scoreboard in the outfield. The project is expected to be completed by January 2017, just in time for the Redhawks upcoming season.
Capaha Field has been home to Southeast Missouri State baseball since its inception in 1959. In the last decade, over 124,000 fans have come to Capaha to watch Southeast baseball in 264 home games. The Redhawks compiled a record of 166-98 in those contests.
Southeast fans have provided a great home field advantage to the Redhawks. Last season, the Redhawks led the Ohio Valley Conference, averaging nearly 1,000 fans per game. In the last three Ohio Valley Conference championship seasons, Southeast has a 47-16 home record.